According to medicinenet.com, cortisol is the main stress hormone in the body. While doctors can check levels of cortisol in the blood through labratory tests, there are some ways that people can recognize that they have high levels of cortisol in their bodies. Read on to find out more about high cortisol symptoms.
Cortisol is created in the pituitary gland of the body and helps produce energy, regulate blood sugar and inflammation, and aid the immune system, according to advance-health.com. As a result, when people have high levels of cortisol in the body, they may experience weight gain, especially in the abdomen, advanced aging, stomach ulcers and a weakened immune system, according to advance-health.com.
Causes of High Cortisol Levels
Cortisol levels in the body get higher in response to stress, according to advance-health.com. The increase in cortisol is not limited to emotional stress, but can also result from stresses in a person's environment, physical stress such as that from an injury, or imaginary stress. If a person is constantly stressed out and their cortisol levels are constantly elevated, it can be very difficult to get rid of the abdominal fat that has developed as a result of it, according to advance-health.com.
Conditions Associated with High Cortisol: Cushing's Syndrome
According to medicinenet.com, when cortisol level elevate astoundingly, a condition called Cushing's Syndrome can result. Women who develop this syndrome may experience irregular periods and start growing facial hair, and men may have lower sex drives. People with Cushing's Syndrome also tend to experience "elevated blood pressure, diabetes, pink to purple stretch marks on the abdomne, fatigue, depression, moodiness, and fatty tissue on the face and upper back," according to medicinenet.com.
If you think you may have symptoms of high cortisol, ask your doctor to check your levels. Doctors generally test the saliva to determine whether or not cortisol levels are too low or too high, then conduct additional tests if levels are too high, according to medicinenet.com. The second set of testing is to find out why the cortisol levels are so high, which can be due to a hormonal imbalance, life's stresses, physical issues or lifestyle factors, according to medicinenet.com.
Decreasing High Cortisol Levels
According to medicinenet.com, stress reduction is key to bring cortisol levels back to normal. Therefore, people with high levels of cortisol should examine what in their lives stress them out and do their best to reduce or eliminate those stressors. Getting more rest, eating a diet low in sugar, and taking nutritional supplements recommended by a doctor are also good ways to normalize cortisol levels, according to advance-health.com.