Unknown facts about your stress hormone - Cortisol

Cortisol has a very important role to play in our daily life. It manages all our stress responses. An adequate level of cortisol is required by our body to perform various functions. Here are some tips that help regulate cortisol levels naturally.

Our body produces various hormones on an everyday basis to regulate or process various physiological functions of the body. One of them is the stress hormone called cortisol which regulates the stress response. It works with a certain part of your brain to control mood, motivation, fear, and stress.

The triangular-shaped adrenal glands that are located on top of either kidney are responsible for making cortisol. However, secretion of the adrenal gland is controlled by the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain and the hypothalamus. Other than managing stress, cortisol carries out several other functions of the body also which include

  • Manages how your body utilizes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Increases your body's blood sugar
  • Regulates your blood pressure
  • Improves immune function
  • Regulates your sleep cycle
  • Boosts energy to handle stress and 
  • In pregnant women, cortisol supports the development of the fetus

Owing to our requirements, cortisol levels in the body keep changing throughout the day. We need more energy after waking up, so cortisol levels rise automatically. But at the end of the day, we are so tired that cortisol levels drop. While doing exercises or any strenuous activity, the demand for cortisol levels rises sharply. Thus, its level increases to meet the demand.

During any stressful situation, the body gets into fight or flight mode. A lot of things happen inside the body. Adrenaline increases, which increases heart rate and blood pressure. Adrenal glands release cortisol in the blood which further raises the glucose levels to meet the demand for excess energy. Cortisol suppresses other not so required body functions so that there is adequate energy in the body to handle the situation. 

After dealing with the crisis, cortisol levels should go down. But what if it doesn’t, it may lead to other health problems too.

  • Headaches
  • Heart diseases
  • Digestion problem
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Weight gain
  • Impacts mental health
  • Memory and concentrations problems

When our body doesn’t make enough of this hormone, then the body shows some symptoms like

  • Skin changes, scars get darker
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Hypotension

Tips to regulate cortisol levels naturally

  • Practice self-care and reduce stress
  • Spend some time in natural sunlight
  • Daily physical movement
  • Fix your time for going to bed and waking up
  • Avoid artificial lights before going to bed
  • Sleep in a completely dark room
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Take all your meals at a regular time, avoid irregularities in having the meals
  • Try avoiding caffeine products in the late evenings

(Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice.  Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.)

Tags : #Health #Cortisol #stresshormone #Stressresponse #Stressmanagement #Cortisolregulation #Cortisolfunctions #Cortisoleffects #Manageyourstress #Anxiety #Mentalhealth #Medicircle #smitakumar

About the Author

Renu Gupta

With a background in Pharmacy which is the clinical health science that links medical science with chemistry, I had the desire to mix creativity to these fields. Medicircle provides me an avenue to apply my training in science and interest in creativity together.

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