Cortisol is commonly referred to as "the stress hormone." The hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands and released into the bloodstream as a "fight or flight response" to stress. The highest quantities of cortisol are produced in the early morning hours and then production slowly tapers off throughout the day. In addition to stress, other factors can also trigger an increased production of cortisol, such as exercise, excitement and low blood sugar.
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How does cortisol affect the body?
On the short-term, cortisol can be lifesaving because it helps the body deal with stress. As the stressor is dealt with, a level of homeostasis can be restored in the body and the cortisol level returns to its normal, lower level. Unfortunately, many of us live stressful lives and experience heightened stress levels for extended periods of time. This constant alert is also known as chronic stress, and it can oftentimes lead to variety of symptoms resulting from an overproduction of cortisol. In some cases, cortisol inhibits the production of insulin, a hormone responsible for metabolic functions and blood sugar regulation. When this happens, the results vary from weight gain to more serious health conditions, such as type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome (syndrome X).
The best part about getting your cortisol levels tested is that there is no blood draw required - instead you simply fill a few tubes with your spit and the saliva is then shipped off to a lab for analysis. The highly trained bioidentical hormone doctors at BodyLogicMD use saliva testing to help determine patients? cortisol levels throughout the day. Based on the test results, a BodyLogicMD affiliated physician will help balance your cortisol levels, using a combination of stress reduction techniques, personalized nutrition and fitness regimens, pharmaceutical-grade supplementation and bioidentical hormone therapy. With your physician-supervised, individually tailored stress management and wellness program, optimal health and peace of mind is well within reach.