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Cortisol for Weight Loss & Health?

Some have called it the “master” of all hormones.

Others curse it for its ability to wreak havoc on our body’s fragile endocrine balance.

In spite of the mixed opinions one thing is certain: cortisol is a powerful hormone necessary for life.

But if its level is not optimal in your body, your health could suffer.

So what is Cortisol?

The hormone cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands and is primarily responsible for regulating blood sugar, helping to metabolize fats, protein and carbohydrates and assisting in managing our stress response. We all have times of stress in our lives, and cortisol helps us to function during these times.

When the stress goes up, cortisol kicks in and delivers help. We get a quick burst of energy, our memory sharpens, our immunity increases, and our sensitivity to pain decreases. These are all important and natural functions of cortisol and ensure that we are able to weather the curve balls that life throws at us.

However, if the stress doesn’t let up, neither does the cortisol.

Unfortunately, what is healthy in small bursts becomes dangerous over the long term. If you have persistent stress in your life, then you have cortisol levels that are out of balance: your body makes so much cortisol that it detrimentally affects your health. This leads to adrenal fatigue.

When you have prolonged, high levels of cortisol in your bloodstream

  • you will crave foods that are high in carbs (like cake and cookies),

  • you will gain weight in your abdominal area (which increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes), and

  • you will have trouble sleeping

In our next blog post, we'll look at what you can do about that... stay tuned!

Dr Joseph Gomez, DC

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