Cortisol Hormone

You probably heard about this – “stress makes you fat”. If you are under tremendous stress then you are very likely to gain weight!

Cortisol is a stress hormone and when levels of insulin in the body are high then more cortisol is secreted. One of the things that higher levels of cortisol can do is lower the levels of the DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which is the hormone that helps you build more muscle mass.

To lose weight more effectively muscle mass is needed. This is because it helps to burn fat and keeps insulin levels lower. Too much stress stimulates the fat cells to take in more fat to store. This is where you will find the cortisol levels higher. So because of this stress makes your body store up more of the fat.

Cortisol: Importance and Its Functions

Cortisol is a steroid hormone synthesized by the adrenal gland in the zona fasciculata and secretion controlled by the hypothalamus. The primary reason of secretion of cortisol is as a response system to stress and low blood glucocorticoid (GC) level. Ramifications of cortisol presence in blood stream are increase in glucose level, stimulation of gluconeogenesis, suppression of immune system (reduction in inflammation) and facilitation of carb, fat and protein metabolism. The key concept in actions of cortisol is to activate anti-inflammatory (immunity) and anti-stress channels. Decline in bone formation rate is an alternate action of cortisol. Also prolonged high level of cortisol in blood can cause muscle wasting and lead to proteolysis.

Watch the video for better understanding

Metabolic Disorder

Cushing’s syndrome is the metabolic disorder induced by perpetuated exposure of elevated cortisol level. Alleged causes are hormonal diseases and side effects of glucocorticoid (GC) drugs. Individuals with Cushing’s syndrome gain weight rapidly and predominantly depositing fat in the truck area, a condition coined as central obesity. Apart from that, as cortisol stimulates insulin production and incline carb and fat metabolism, it is likely to trigger appetite. For reduction of stress cortisol releases many glucose storages in the body such as liver and prone to deposit back as fat after the stress condition. Absence of cortisol is fatal also; without cortisol body will go into shock and die if exposed to trauma.

Stress Management Naturotherapy

Control of cortisol under the appreciable limit primarily lies on stress management sparing on dietary controls. Aerobic and anaerobic exercises are very effective in managing stress and to reduce central obesity. Also cortisol levels are found to be very lower in individuals after practicing yoga. Meditation, progressive relaxation, deep breathing, and visualization are highly effective techniques for reducing stress-induced symptoms. Alter lifestyle to get adequate sleep. Measure that can be undertaken in the dietary control regime is to take meals timely and to reduce caffeine related beverages.

Having regular sex can also reduce stress and cortisol level. Indulge is lots of sexual activity atleast 2 times per week (masturbation is an option if you don’t have willing partner)

Prescription Drugs

Bodybuilders and athletes tend to consume cortisol reduction supplements as stress is inevitable in their sport. Some of them are Ester C, Phosphatidylserine, Sensori etc. Prolonged use of supplements have possible side effects and can cause hormonal imbalance. An Herb called Rhodiola is a proven botanical treatment to reduce cortisol without side effect. Since stress and cortisol are like a vicious circle, anti-stress supplements tend to have the same effect as cortisol reduction supplements. Vitamin B complex, minerals like calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc and antioxidants like vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid and Co Q 10 are anti-stress supplements medically used.

 

Ref & more information:

  • http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Hormones_cortisone
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11054598
  • http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/stresscortisol.html

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