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The Connection Between Stress and Cortisol: How to Keep Your Hormones in Check

Updated: May 29


Unveiling Cortisol

Cortisol, often dubbed the "stress hormone," is making waves not just for its association with stress but also for its involvement in metabolic processes related to glucose. Its influence extends to appetite regulation and weight management, making it a pivotal player in our overall health.

The Stress Hormone Cortisol is famously recognized as the "stress hormone," co-released with adrenaline in response to perceived threats. While adrenaline prepares the body for fight or flight, cortisol elevates blood glucose levels, enhances its utilization in the brain, and increases tissue repair substances' availability. Let's take a look about the connection between stress and cortisol.



What Exactly is Cortisol?

Cortisol, also known as hydrocortisone, is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands in each kidney. It acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, particularly during times of stress, serving as a natural response mechanism. However, it also responds to low levels of glucocorticoids in the blood.



Functions of Cortisol

. Metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, dictating how our bodies assimilate

essential nutrients.

.Regulating inflammation levels, controlling blood pressure, and balancing blood sugar.

.Orchestrating sleep-wake cycles and boosting energy during stress management.

.Assisting in maintaining the body's salt-water balance and supporting memory and concentration.



The Consequences of Excess Stress and Cortisol

Chronic stress perpetuates heightened cortisol levels, leading to an array of health issues, including:


. Anxiety, depression, and compromised immune function.

. Digestive disorders like colitis and cardiovascular complications.

. Weight gain, particularly abdominal fat retention, and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. . .Hormonal imbalances affecting fertility, sexual function, and cognitive decline.



Strategies to Lower Cortisol Levels

To mitigate the adverse effects of elevated cortisol, adopting healthy practices is paramount. Consider:


. Regular exercise to alleviate stress.

. Mindfulness practices like meditation to promote relaxation.

. A diet low in refined sugars and rich in omega-3s and vitamin C.

. Limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption.

. Prioritizing a balanced diet comprising carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber.

. Ensuring adequate sleep hygiene with at least 7 hours of restorative sleep nightly.

. Acupuncture and auriculotherapy


Conclusion: the connection between stress and cortisol

Cortisol's intricate dance within our bodies underscores its significance in our overall well-being. By understanding its functions and implementing lifestyle changes to manage stress levels, we can navigate towards a healthier, more balanced life.

Discover more insights into hormonal harmony and well-being at Moxay Acupuncture.


Sandra de Catalina,

Naturopath Specialising in Acupuncture





the connection between stress and cortisol





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