Effects Of Elevated Cortisol

Effects Of Elevated Cortisol

Cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone, plays a pivotal role in maintaining our physical and mental health.  Cortisol increases sugars (blood glucose), enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.  Furthermore, cortisol curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or flight situation.  

When cortisol levels become consistently elevated due to chronic stress it creates an imbalance to our adrenal glands which has negative implications to both the body and mind.  These stresses arise from stress itself, poor lifestyle/dietary choices (overconsumption of processed-refined foods).  The cumulative effect of this overactive pace on our nervous system eventually manifests itself to contribute to a variety of mental and physical diseases.   

Here is a list of various health conditions that can arise from chronic overstimulation of our sympathetic nervous system.

  • Elevation of stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increase vasoconstriction of our blood vessels.
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired glucose tolerance (insulin resistance)
  • Abdominal Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Vitamin/Mineral Deficiencies
  • Skin Disorders(Acne, Eczema etc)
  • Immune Deficiency

We need to all take inventory of how effectively we are managing our stress levels and be mindful to turn down the volume on the pace of our lifestyles. There are many strategies we can all utilize to help manage and build resiliency to daily stressors which I  cover in the management of elevated cortisol.

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