High Cortisol

Signs of High Cortisol

Weight gain, especially around the face and abdomen
Muscle weakness
high blood sugar
Weak bones
Mood swings
Problems with memory and concentration

Cortisol can be thought of as nature’s built-in alarm system.

Cortisol release occurs in a circadian fashion, so it’s naturally highest in the morning when a burst of energy is needed to wake up, and declines during the day, lowest being at night just before sleep. Of course, if you are experiencing a lot of stress, cortisol can be secreted throughout the day and night, which can interfere with your ability to sleep at night.

As the body’s primary stress hormone, cortisol surges when we perceive danger, and causes all the symptoms we associate with “fight or flight”.

It plays another important role as well. For example:

• Manages how the body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
• Keeps inflammation down
• Regulates blood pressure
• Increases blood sugar
• Controls sleep/wake cycle
• Boosts energy so you can handle stress and restores balance afterward

When cortisol in the body is consistently high over a long period of time—due to chronic stress or a medical condition, for example —you can start to experience health consequences as mentioned above.

Several things you can do to try to lower your cortisol levels and keep them at optimal ranges:

Get quality sleep
Exercise regularly
Learn to limit stress and stressful thinking patterns
Practice deep breathing exercises
Participate in hobbies and fun activities

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