Packing a big punch, Cortisol, is responsible for the well-being of both, your mind and body. Not only does it help your body combat stressful or anxious situations, it also keeps your blood pressure, insulin levels, and glucose metabolism under check. Perhaps that is why the American Medical Association (AMA) has reported that elevated levels of Cortisol can lead to over 80 devastating diseases, including the Cushing’s syndrome among other health related problems.
Elevated levels of Cortisol can be a result of many things. Lifestyle, mental health, medications, a person’s nature, stress intake threshold, and lots more; further on, high levels of Cortisol may manifest itself in your body through weight gain, especially around the abdomen area resulting in, what is commonly known as, an ‘apple shaped’ figure. Some other symptoms of increased Cortisol levels could be fading memory, fatigue, low immunity, heart diseases, and several other dangerous medical problems. In order to properly identity this condition and to treat it, you need to first familiarize yourself with some of the most common reasons for elevated Cortisol hormone levels. This will help you attack the problem at the root for long lasting good physical and mental health.
#1. Stress – The primary reason for increased Cortisol levels is STRESS! Cortisol hormone is your body’s answer to combating physical as well as emotional stress. Only when your body has been exposed to long term stress, does it start producing high levels of Cortisol to combat the situation. Despite knowing that excessive stress is bad for your health, you may not be able to control it. This could lead to impairment of the body leading to inability in defending itself against infection, as well as inability to utilize sugar and fats to boost energy levels when required.
#2. Hyperthyroidism – This is a condition when your thyroid gland starts producing excess ‘thyroxine’ hormone than the normal required levels. This means that your body has to work overtime, which leads to health issues like increased heart rate, insomnia, rapid loss in weight, fatigue, and weakness.
#3. Pituitary Dysfunction – Your pituitary gland is the master overseeing the smooth functioning of the body’s Endocrine System. This gland controls the amount of hormone that needs to produced and released in your blood stream. However, pituitary gland can become dysfunctional due to many reasons like:
• Growth of benign tumor known as ‘Adenoma’ inside the Pituitary gland. This condition may lead to higher than necessary production of Cortisol hormone. This is common reason for elevated Cortisol hormone levels in women as they are FIVE times more likely to have this condition than men.
• Growth of tumors outside the Pituitary gland. This is a condition when ectopic tumors grow outside the gland leading to a dysfunctional Pituitary gland. This condition is more common in males than females. Unfortunately, these tumors can be carcinogenic in nature.
Some of the other reasons for elevated Cortisol levels include adrenal malfunction, pregnancy-related stress, rigorous and long workouts, and drugs or artificial hormonal supplements.