Cortisol aka stress hormone is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of significant processes throughout the body. It plays a vital role in metabolism, immunologic response and the way the body responds to stress.
What Exactly Does Cortisol Do?
Almost every cell contains receptors for Cortisol. And it has numerous different actions depending on the type of cell it is acting upon. Cortisol helps to regulate blood sugar levels and control metabolism. It acts as an anti-inflammatory. In many species, cortisol is responsible for the development of the foetus and to trigger the processes involved in giving birth. Cortisol has an influence on memory formation, controlling sodium and water balance in the body. Which means it controls blood pressure.
High and low level of cortisol negatively affects the body
Low cortisol levels can cause a condition referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease (primary adrenal insufficiency is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the adrenal glands)
Sometimes tumours on the pituitary or adrenal glands can contribute to a condition referred to as Cushing syndrome, characterized by high levels of cortisol within the blood. Individuals having the syndrome will experience rapid weight gain in the face, abdomen, and chest.
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