Cortisol

Cortisol is the only hormone in your body that increases with age.  It is also one of your sex hormones.  Like DHEA, cortisol is made by your adrenal glands, which makes all of your sex hormones after menopause.  Cortisol is commonly known as the ‘stress hormone’ due to its involvement in your response to stress.  When you are stressed, your cortisol levels elevate.  However, there are also consequences of low cortisol levels.  When your adrenal glands are in a state of emergency, you do not feel well.  You may turn to stimulants such as coffee, energy drinks, soft drinks or sugar as a source of energy, but this only makes the situation worse.  Consuming any of these items will temporarily make you feel better, more energetic, but the negative effects far outweigh the temporary fix.  When you are constantly in a state of stress, and this can be ‘good’ or positive stress as well, such as over-exercising/over-training, as well as negative stress, such as loss of a loved one, financial or career stress, this weakens the adrenal glands over time, and when this happens, your cortisol and DHEA levels will drop.  This is referred to as Adrenal Fatigue.

Functions of Cortisol in Your Body:

  • Affects bone turnover rate
  • Affects immune system response
  • Affects pituitary/thyroid/adrenal systems
  • Affects stress reaction
  • Balances blood sugar
  • Controls weight
  • Helps protein synthesis
  • Helps you sleep
  • Improves moods and thoughts
  • Influences DHEA/Insulin ratio
  • Influences estrogen/testosterone ratio
  • In an anti-inflammatory

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:

  • Alcoholism
  • Allergies (environmental sensitivities and chemical tolerance)
  • Decreased immunity
  • Decreased sexual interest
  • Digestive problems
  • Drug addiction
  • Emotional imbalances
  • Emotional paralysis
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of being overwhelmed
  • General feeling of ‘’unwellness’’
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Increased PMS, peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms
  • Lack of Stamina
  • Loss of motivation or initiative
  • Low blood pressure
  • Poor healing of wounds
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Progressively poorer athletic performance
  • Craving of salt