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What’s the relationship between Cortisol and Stress?

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that plays a vital role in the body’s function including metabolism and the immune response. It is closely linked with stress, often called “stress hormone” and is often measured, such as using ELISA kits, in research as an indicator of stress. Cortisol levels fluctuate among individuals and in the same people at different times in the day. Normally, cortisol is present in the body at higher levels in the morning, and at it is lowest at night. This is called a diurnal rhythm and the cycle repeats daily. Well, understanding cortisol and its effect on the body will help you to manage your stress and balance your hormones to maximize optimal health.

What happens if I have too much cortisol?

The rapid pace and the competitiveness of the modern life cause great stress. The body’s stress response is activated very often. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal, which will result in a state of chronic stress. The hormone cortisol is released to manage stress; As the stress continues, cortisol continues to be released. Having excessive cortisol for a prolonged period of time may cause a wide variety of diseases or conditions, increased blood pressure, such as loss of muscle, weight gain, bone thinning, skin that bruises easily, mood problems like anxiety, loss of good bacteria, diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, and premature aging.

What happens if I have too little cortisol?

Many factors can cause your body unable to make enough cortisol, such as Addison disease, infectious diseases like TB and HIV infection, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, amyloidosis, bilateral adrenalectomy, etc. Addison disease is a rare endocrine disorder and an autoimmune disease, in which antibodies attack the gland responsible for producing cortisol. Low cortisol can disrupt metabolism, resulting in low blood sugar and a lack of glycogen, as well as cause a drop-in blood pressure, decreasing cardiac output. Furthermore, lack of cortisol has been linked to chronic fatigue, weakness, dehydration, discoloration of the skin, and reduced ability to fight infection, trauma, and stress.

How to manage stress and maintain healthy cortisol levels?

Managing stress is paramount to maximizing optimal health and it is a very big topic indeed. We can do as follow to reduce our stress:

  • Consume antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables;
  • Go outside;
  • Meet up with friends;
  • Get a massage;
  • Try deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.

The easiest way to keep your cortisol levels normal and functioning the right way is to cut stress. If you’re more sensitive to stress, try to learn stress management techniques and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Many symptoms of low or high cortisol are easily confused with other diseases. But there are diagnostic methods to detect the levels of cortisol. Cortisol can be measured in many samples, such as blood, urine, and saliva. Using Human Cortisol ELISA Kit to detect cortisol levels can help determine whether a person has high, low, or normal cortisol.

Currently, there are FDA-approved drugs available to control cortisol levels. If your high or low cortisol levels are caused by a specific disease, doctors may prescribe medications or use other medical methods to treat the disease.

In conclusion, think of cortisol as nature’s built-in alarm system. It’s your body’s main stress hormone and works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear.

It is necessary to know cortisol more and get a better way to manage stress and have a healthy life.

Yolanda Xue is a blogger and writer by heart. She contributes content on health-related topics, aimed to help people to choose a healthy lifestyle, and works at Cusabio, a professional supplier of ELISA kits.