Understanding hormones – part 3: Cortisol

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Update Date May 12, 2020
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After part 1 and part 2, we have had a broader knowledge about the chemical functions of the body and their influence on our health. It is known that manipulating lifestyle, dieting and exercising correctly can exponentially affect the amount and signal of hormones, which plays an essential role in our fat loss and fitness goals. Therefore, in part 3, we will get to know the third hormone that also has an important place to our health and in our weight loss plan, Cortisol.

What is Cortisol?

Categorized as a stress hormone, cortisol, however, has more functions than just controls our stress. It originates from the adrenal glands and cortisol receptors exist in most cells throughout the body. Therefore, it various functions ranges from controlling blood sugar levels, administering metabolism, reducing inflammation to helping memory formulation.

What is the risk of Cortisol in our body?

Even though cortisol is indispensable in the protection of our well-being, the excessive amount can still bring harms. There are multiple factors that mess up the level of cortisol in our body, including bad lifestyle habits (drinking, smoking, lacking sleep, bad diets), depression and tumors. Associated with Cushing’s syndrome, a result of tumors on the pituitary or adrenal glands, high level of cortisol leads to a fat concentration in the face, abdomen, and chest. Other symptoms include the reddened face, high blood pressure, skin color changing, osteoporosis and mood swings. This disease can be discovered by the unbalanced appearance between the body and the arms and legs. On the other hand, when the level of Cortisol declines, it can give rise to a condition called Addison’s disease which destroys the adrenal glands. This disease develops in slow pace but can be severe. It consists of symptoms like fatigue, muscle loss, weight loss, mood swings and skin color changing.

How to deal with Cortisol?

It is thus critical to adjust your lifestyle to balance the level of cortisol in the body. Firstly, you need to have a quality sleep. Lacking one hour of sleep per night can change the hypothalamus activity, which causes the higher amount of cortisol. Secondly, exercising correctly is also efficacious in regulating the level of cortisol. It is recommended to do cardio training with various intensities since not only does it account for fat loss but also encourages an anabolic hormone response that facilitates the anti-stress process in the body. By generating testosterone and adrenaline, this exercise will stimulate fat burning and help the body release stress. Finally, it is essential to de-stress by breaking down the cortisol cycle. The most productive methods are yoga, meditation, having regular massages, eating green and lean foods and having an optimistic viewpoint.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.

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