Cortisol is a hormone made by the adrenal glands. Conditions such as inflammatory disorders, skin disorders and some cancers can be treated with synthetic cortisol-like compounds, sometimes called corticosteroids. A side effect of this treatment is osteoporosis. High doses of cortisol-like drugs over a long period of time can cause a drop in the body's own cortisol production.
The problem with cortisol is that our bodies are not meant to be exposed to these relatively high amounts for long periods of time. However, many people who have stress as an obstacle to cure are experiencing the negative effects of cortisol.
1. High cortisol decreases immunity. Cortisol is a corticosteroid and like prednisone, cortisone, and beclomethasone, it inhibits the actions of white blood cells. Initially, this usually leads to increased susceptibility to infections. Eventually, this may actually lead to long stretches of time without colds because the immune system is so weakened.
2. High cortisol increases abdominal fat deposition. For reasons still unknown, high levels of cortisol induce the body to lay down adipose tissue in the abdomen and upper back/neck. In fact, for those people affected it is next to impossible to lose abdominal fat without addressing stress.
3. High cortisol breaks down muscle, bone, and connective tissue. Cortisol …
A little stress now and again is not a bad thing. It provides an energy boost to help you achieve your goals. It is chronic dis-stress that has short and long-term health consequences that permanently compromise your health and cause you to age faster. Do not kid yourself into thinking you can compartmentalize your stress and keep it in your head. The brain communicates to the body with lightning speed,and the entire body gets the message to activate the stress response. Understanding how the stress response works, and how you can reduce the harmful effects of cortisol and stress, will help you enjoy a healthier life.
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