Dangers of Too Much Cortisol

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excess cortisol

Dangers of Too Much Cortisol

Increased cortisol sends a signal to your body that it needs to get ready for possible flight from danger.

This triggers an immediate breakdown of muscle to make more glucose.

To prevent nonessential organs in your body from using this precious glucose, an insulin resistance develops with a corresponding rise in insulin levels in your bloodstream.

Constant stress means constant secretion of cortisol.

As your body adapts to chronic stress, you become hyperinsulinemic, thereby creating more fat.

This fuels a new round of cortisol secretion, and the end result is you get fatter (especially in your abdominal region) and wind up with chronic silent inflammation.

As your body keeps producing excess cortisol, it cuts back on its production of other hormones, like testosterone.

Without adequate levels of testosterone, it’s impossible to keep, let alone build, muscle.

Making matters worse, not enough testosterone dampens libido (in both men and women), so sex becomes far less enticing.

Excess cortisol also destroys your short-term memory, which makes sense in times of acute stress (like combat, severe accidents, or physical abuse) because it allows you to repress very tragic events.

But, under long-term stress this short-term memory loss is more problematic and can lead to a decreased ability to recall lots of memories, including good ones.

Like insulin, cortisol levels tend to increase naturally in our bodies as we age.

But this increase occurs in a unique way.

As we mentioned, the normal circadian rhythm of cortisol is for it to peak in the morning, with a sharp drop-off in the afternoon.

As we get older, the increase in overall cortisol is much more gradual, because the hormone stays elevated in the evening instead of dropping sharply.

As a result of this elevation, it may be more difficult to get to sleep at night, which can lead to late-night cravings, especially for carbohydrates.

Lack of sleep itself can have a devastating effect on cortisol.

Studies show if you decrease your sleep from 8 hours to 6-1/2 hours a night, within a week you’ll experience a significant increase in cortisol levels and a corresponding increase in insulin levels.

In addition to all the psychological stressors we have today, most of us are chronically sleep deprived.

The average American gets only 7 hours of sleep a night, down from the 9 hours we were getting a century ago.

Long-Term Increased Cortisol = Adrenal Burnout

Making too much cortisol for months or years can eventually lead to burnout of your adrenal glands, the glands sitting on top of your kidneys and pumping out both adrenaline and cortisol.

If after being chronically overtaxed your adrenal glands eventually fail to produce enough cortisol, then you’re in real trouble, because you no longer have your main hormonal tool to reduce silent inflammation.

This is similar to what happens to your pancreas when it continually overproduces insulin.

Eventually, your pancreas doesn’t work right and can no longer make enough insulin to bring down elevated blood glucose levels.

The result is type 2 diabetes.

This only accelerates the making of silent inflammation throughout your body and rapidly increases the likelihood of heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation.

With adrenal burnout, you have no internal way to stop the overproduction of pro-inflammatory hormones, and aging begins to accelerate.

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

(Based on Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Anti-Inflammation Zone”)

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

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