How Cortisol Affects You

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Cortisol became a buzzword a few years ago for being reported as a major contributor to belly fat. What exactly is the deal with cortisol?

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. Think of cortisol as nature’s built-in alarm system. It’s your body’s main stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear. Your adrenal glands make cortisol.

It’s best known for helping fuel your body’s “fight-or-flight” instinct in a crisis, but cortisol plays an important role in a number of things your body does. For example, it:

  • Manages how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Regulates your blood pressure
  • Increases your blood sugar (glucose)
  • Controls your sleep/wake cycle
  • Boosts energy so you can handle stress and restores balance afterward

Levels of cortisol vary throughout the day, but generally are higher in the morning when we wake up, and then fall throughout the day. The secretion of cortisol is mainly controlled by three inter-communicating regions of the body; the hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland.

Too much stress can trigger a cortisol response and derail your body’s most important functions. It can also lead to a number of health problems, including:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Problems with digestion
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain

We Can Measure Your Cortisol With a Simple DUTCH Test

One of the first things we look at when we get the results back from your DUTCH testing, is the free cortisol levels over the course of their testing. It is on the first page of your 14 page report. From there, we can tell how your body is producing and handling cortisol. So important!

For more information on getting started on your journey to natural hormone balance, visit our website at

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