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What is Cortisol and how to tell if you have High Cortisol ?

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that plays an important role in the body's stress response.

It plays an important role in blood glucose balance and in the release of sugar stored in our body in response to increased energy demand. Cortisol is also involved in the metabolism of fats and proteins. It plays an anti-inflammatory role, participates in the regulation of sleep and the body's response to stress.

High cortisol levels can lead to a number of symptoms, including:

-Weight gain, particularly around the stomach and upper back

-Insomnia or difficulty sleeping

-Anxiety and irritability

-Depression

-Fatigue

-Thinning skin and easy bruising

-Muscle weakness

-Headaches

-Dizziness

-Decreased libido

-Changes in menstrual cycle

-Acne

It's important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it's important to see a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.

Cortisol levels can fluctuate throughout the day, so it's also important to test cortisol levels at different times of the day. A cortisol blood test is used to diagnose high cortisol levels.

It's also important to note that temporary high cortisol levels caused by short term stressors are normal and healthy. Chronic high cortisol levels can be dangerous and requires attention.

Here are some reasons why these symptoms could be happening : 

  • Too much exercise, especially intense exercise. This can easily stress out your body.

  • Trying to do too much, being constantly on the go. It is really important to take rest days or dedicate some time for your body to relax.

  • You aren’t aware that you are actually stressed. When stress has become your new normal, you can sometimes feel like everything is fine when it is not. You could be constantly living in “fight or flight” mode, a response being triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety. Being aware of your stress is the first step to fixing it !

Tone is not qualified to give any medical advice, we recommend that you always discuss this with your doctor before any change in your diet.

 

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