What is Cortisol

Cortisol is a vital hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is known as the “stress” hormone as it is released in the   “fight or flight” reaction by the body.

The main action of cortisol is to respond to increased demand for physical, mental work, and resistance to stress Cortisol has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. It also inhibits insulin production.  Levels of cortisol are higher in the morning and gradually decline at night.

With the kinds of stresses common in modern society, a person’s adrenal gland may exhaust over time due to intense and prolonged stress in life. This is known as Adrenal Fatigue. Reduction in adrenal function leads to lower hormone production of cortisol. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.

  • Symptoms of low cortisol include
    • muscle weakness/ pain
    • joint pain
    • fatigue
    • loss of appetite
    • weight loss
    • low blood pressure
    • low blood sugar
    • darkening skin
    • changes in mood
    • depression and irritability

Treatment for low cortisol levels due to adrenal fatigue is to support the adrenal glands with proper hormone balance.

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