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forever health

Test Yourself

Find out if you could benefit from hormonal balancing

 

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7  

Cortisol

Cortisol, like DHEA, is produced in the adrenal glands. Unlike DHEA, cortisol levels do not decrease as we age; instead, our body creates it in reaction to stress. When we get stressed out our hypothalamus gland sends corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then secretes adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH), which then circulates to the adrenal glands where the Cortisol is created.


Because of its association with stress levels, Cortisol often gets a bad rap. However, it performs an important job; first of all, it helps regulate blood pressure. It also increases blood sugar in preparation for dealing with stress.


Unfortunately, because individuals often face prolonged periods of stress, our body’s cortisol levels are often incredibly high for long periods of time. The prolonged span of elevated cortisol levels can cause numerous health issues:


  • Bone thinning;
  • Immune system suppression;
  • Weakened muscles;
  • Accumulation of fat around the waist;
  • Thinner skin.

Patients with Cushing’s syndrome, a condition in which a benign tumor produces too much Cortisol, share a lot of common traits with aging adults. Both Cushing’s patients and aging adults have thinner skin & bones, less muscle, more abdominal fat and diminished short term capacity. Our bodies are also unable to turn off the cortisol response to stress, causing a dominoes effect. The elevated levels of Cortisol reduces the length of time the body stays in the deep sleep stages, which then lowers the amount of growth hormone the body secretes.


As you can see, restoring Cortisol levels is an important part of the anti-aging process. Reducing stress, meditating and participating in regular exercise are all ways to regulate your Cortisol levels. During this process, DHEA will help protect your hippocampus neurons and your bones from the damage caused by high Cortisol levels.


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