Cortisol is a steroid hormone often referred to as the stress hormone. It is produced by the zona fasciculta in the adrenal gland and released in the body as a response to stress or low blood sugar. Its role is to increase blood sugar, to supress the immune system or to help in the metabolism of fat, proteins or carbohydrates. While it plays an essential part in the body’s well-being, high cortisol levels can also have serious health-related side-effects.
What causes high cortisol levels?
While there are numerous causes for high cortisol levels in the body, one of the biggest causes is stress, particularly the constant stress that is often the result of a fast-paced, competitive work environment.
Other causes include liver or kidney disease, depression, obesity or hyperthyroidism. Infections, illness and certain injuries can also lead to increased cortisol levels.
How to reduce cortisol naturally
There are numerous ways to reduce cortisol to healthy levels; however, any cortisol related issues and potential solutions should be discussed with a licensed physician before being attempted.