Cortisol – The Stress Hormone

Stress.  It can be our best friend or our worst enemy.  In moderation it can give us a boost of energy to accomplish miracles but when it’s unrelenting, chronic, never ending, it can wear us down and create a number of health problems.  The culprit?  Cortisol.

Cortisol is generally referred to as the “stress hormone” because of its connection to the stress response; however, cortisol is much more than just a steroid hormone released from the adrenal glands during stress.   Release of cortisol is controlled by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal gland, a combination glands often referred to as the HPA axis.

What Does Cortisol Do?

Most bodily cells have cortisol receptors and it affects many different functions in the body. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. It has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure. In women, cortisol also supports the developing fetus during pregnancy. All of these functions make cortisol a crucial hormone to protect overall health and well-being.

When the switch doesn’t turn off, many things can happen.  Chocolate cravings, sleeplessness, anxiety, panic attacks, increased belly fat, lack of energy, mild depression are just a few outcomes.  I’ll explain more about what’s happening in the next edition of The Purple Pages.
In the meantime … take some deep breaths, try to get some sleep, drink lots of water and eat your veggies.  We’ll get through this together.
With much love and appreciation.
Sandy O’Shea
Sex & Hormone Coach
Author of Let’s Talk about Sex with Sandy
Co-author of Nineteen Tales of Covid-19
Coming June 1, 2022 … From Invisible to Technicolour

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