What is cortisol? What role does it play in your health?

What is Cortisol?

In its normal function, cortisol helps us meet daily stresses and challenges by converting proteins into energy, releasing glycogen and counteracting inflammation. For a short time, having cortisol elevated is healthy, but over time high levels of cortisol in your system can gradually tear down muscle tissue and bone, impair the immune system, contribute to digestive and metabolism issues, lead to weight gain around the belly, and decreases mental clarity.

The question what is cortisol is not discussed often enough when it comes to our overall health and well-being and can be a main contributor when it comes to beer belly fat and being unable to reduce belly fat. Many people look for free diet plans to help them reduce their belly fat, only to be disappointed by failure. What is cortisol and how does it relate to your health? Reducing the beer belly is more than just about cutting out calories, trying the next free diet plans or fads it is about bringing down your blood sugar and insulin levels, which relates to cortisol levels in the bloodstream. It also means removing toxins in your body and system and cleansing your liver so it runs optimally. Getting good nutrition into your body and system. What is cortisol and how does it play into all of this?Click here to read more on weight gain and cortisol

Cortisol is Essential to Life

Cortisol is essential to life and has many positive effects. It gives the body a burst of needed energy when you are trying to get away from danger, it is important part of helping your body respond and deal with stress. It will also contribute to better memory, increased immunity and helps maintain the homeostasis of the body.

Due to our change in lifestyle cortisol is increasingly being secreted into the bloodstream and is often termed the “stress hormone”. No longer are humans being chased by tigers or other animals. Our stress is more constant, it is sitting in traffic trying to get to work on time, road rage, financial stress, family stress, social isolation and information overload. Can you think of some constant stresses in your life?

Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands and is secreted at higher levels during the body’s flight or fight response. High Cortisol levels can be extremely damaging. Cortisol plays a role in proper glucose metabolism; regulation of blood pressure; insulin release for blood sugar maintenance and boosting immune function. Since our bodies are constantly in a state of flight or fight response. Many times we have a higher more prolonged level of cortisol in our systems due to chronic stress and contribute to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Lowered immune function
  • Increased beer belly fat
  • High cholesterol
  • Suppressed thyroid function
  • Impaired alertness and mental function

To learn more about high cortisol levels click here.

To keep cortisol at healthy levels, one needs to reduce belly fat and engage the body’s relaxation system. Do you have a hard time relaxing? You can teach your body to relax with various stress management techniques and lifestyle changes. For example:

  • Journaling
  • Getting massages on a regular basis
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Meditation
  • Breathing
  • Exercise
  • Simplifying your life

Click here to read how you can maintain normal cortisol levels.

Cortisol is a hormone that requires balance. High cortisol levels will lead to belly fat around the abdomen, high blood sugar and insulin levels, and an increase risk of heart disease. But extremely low levels of cortisol are also detrimental to your heath. In achieving healthy cortisol levels, balance is the key.

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