Purpose of cortisol
Let's start by looking at what cortisol/ adrenalin does for your body, levels in moderation that is.
Cortisol is a hormone, also called a fat hormone. Most cells in your body have cortisol receptors, and is responsible for many different functions in your body. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. It has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure. In women, cortisol also supports the developing fetus during pregnancy. All of these functions make cortisol a crucial hormone to protect overall health and well-being.
Higher levels and consistent levels of cortisol
When you are stressed or have daily panic attacks, your adrenal gland is triggered. In turn the gland produces large amounts of cortisol. This happens without you having eaten carbs or sugar. Large and constant amounts of cortisol is also a toxin to the body.
Stress can lead to a multitude of illnesses. Stress can be healthy - short term. But absolutely not long term.
When stress becomes too much, and this is very common in today's society, you might feel you can't cope or are worried, fearful and anxious. Stress will negatively affect your immunsystem and of course the needed good night's sleep. It can also Stress stops you from smiling and interacting with friends, in fact there is a direct link to depression which is highlighted in media nowadays.
Cortisol levels in a young person can be reduced quite quickly, however in an older person the body is not as efficient at reducing the level and can linger for days.
Large amounts of cortisol are toxic when they're left circulating in your system for prolonged periods of time. Your brain cells (or neurons) are extremely sensitive to the effects of cortisol, so when cortisol circulates at a high level, it can cause brain cells to die. That's why brain shrinkage is associated with senility in old age. This is clearly very important to consider if you are at the early stages of a neurological disease such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.
High/ chronic cortisol levels can lead to type 2 Diabetes and other Autoimmune diseases
You may be eating healthily, you may even be on a ketogenic diet, yet your bloodsugar levels are constantly high and this, after a few years, can lead to insulin resistance. In turn this could lead to type 2 diabetes although you are not eating many carbs/ sugar a day. This can become a chronic and very serious situation. Stress is very dangerous in the long run.
Cortisol the Fat Hormone
Cortisol increases appetite as well as cravings for sugar. It also directly effects fat storage and weight gain. Tissue cortisol concentrations are controlled by a specific enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol. This particular enzyme is located in adipose (fat) tissues. Studies with human visceral (fat surrounding the stomach and intestines) and fat just under your skin (love handles) have demonstrated that the gene for this enzyme is expressed more by obese conditions. It has also been shown in research that human visceral fat cells have more of these enzymes compared to fat cells under your skin. Therefore higher levels of these enzymes in fat cells surrounding the abdomen may lead to obesity due to greater amounts of cortisol being produced. Also deep abdominal fat has greater blood flow and four times more cortisol receptors compared to fat directly under your skin.
Don't be stressed reading this! Take several deep breaths daily. If you have the time (simply find it!) take up Yoga or study Mindfulness, at least try and think positively. Our Plan will most certainly reduce your stress symptoms.
CONCLUSION The older you get the more cortisol will cause problems for you. A Ketogenic diet will certainly reduce the risk of insulin resistance. Try and take life easier