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Focus on cortisol

Feb 21, 2024

Often referred to as the stress hormone , cortisol is essential for our body to survive. This steroid hormone, produced by the adrenal glands, plays a predominant role in metabolic, immune, anti-inflammatory functions and in stress management . It is a key player in our body's response to stress.

The role of cortisol in our body

Produced by the adrenal glands above each kidney, cortisol is a crucial steroid hormone for the human body. Due to its multiple actions, it is often referred to as the “stress hormone” . To understand why this role is so essential, let's discuss the specific functions of this hormone in more detail.

One of the essential roles of cortisol is to contribute to the metabolic response to stress . Cortisol prepares you for rapid action in the event of a stressful or threatening situation. When you experience stress, your body releases cortisol, which puts you in a state of alertness and increases your energy. This process is often called the "fight or flight" response .

Cortisol plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins . It facilitates the production of glucose from these elements, which can help provide extra energy during times of stress.

Cortisol helps control blood pressure by affecting blood vessels, and regulates the immune system , helping the body prepare for and repair injuries. Cortisol also affects your natural sleep cycle , which is why high levels of this hormone can lead to sleep problems.

The consequences of excess cortisol: be careful, danger

A prolonged excess of cortisol can have several harmful consequences for the body. One of the first public signs of excess cortisol is weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. High blood pressure, chronic fatigue, poor digestion, trouble sleeping , and even decreased sexual desire can also be symptoms of excess cortisol.

Constant overproduction of cortisol can negatively affect overall health and cause serious problems. Cushing's syndrome is one of the most serious medical conditions linked to excess cortisol. Patients with this syndrome have a range of symptoms, including excessive hair growth, thin skin, a tendency to bruise easily, and areas of dark pigmentation.

It is important to understand that excess cortisol is not a condition to be taken lightly. Attention is required here and medical advice should be sought if you suspect a problem.

Natural techniques to reduce cortisol levels

Certain natural techniques can help reduce cortisol levels in your body.

Sleep has a considerable role on our body and mind. It is advisable to get regular, quality sleep to help regulate bodily functions, including cortisol production. Reducing stress and anxiety before going to bed can help improve sleep quality and thus control cortisol levels.

Nutrition can also influence cortisol levels in the body. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and protein can help maintain balanced cortisol levels. Refined sugars and processed foods tend to increase cortisol, so it is recommended to consume them in moderation.

Engaging in regular physical activity is a great way to reduce cortisol levels. Exercise helps with hormonal balance, strengthens the immune system and improves sleep quality.


Cortisol , also known as the stress hormone, plays a vital role in our body. However, an imbalance in the levels of this hormone can have detrimental consequences on our health and well-being. It is crucial to be aware of the risks associated with excess cortisol and to know how to naturally reduce its levels if necessary.

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