Ultimate Guide To Cortisol And Its Functions

Cortisol is also known as the Stress hormone. It plays a larger role in the body’s stress response. It plays a much greater part in the body than the fight or flight response. 

High Cortisol Levels are a part of the body’s normal response when the body feels any harm, threat, or damage. But, if your body constantly makes too much cortisol, it generally indicates a beginning health problem. Croakers may relate to high cortisol as a Cushing pattern or hypercortisolism. 

What Is Cortisol?

It is a type of steroid hormone that adrenal glands, the endocrine glands located on top of your kidneys, produce and release. It affects several aspects of your body and substantially helps regulate your body’s response to stress.

The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis is responsible for controlling the amount of the hormone getting released.

Most of the cells in our body contain their won cortisol receptors. It is used in various functions, such as:

  • Regulating Blood Sugar Levels.
  • Reducing Inflammation
  • Regulating Metabolism
  • Memory Formulation

High Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is important for your health, but too important of it can harm your body and can cause several unwanted symptoms.

High levels of the hormone can cause multiple symptoms throughout the body. Symptoms vary depending on what causes elevated cortisol levels.

Common Symptoms 

  1. Weight gain is mostly around the middle part of the upper back.
  2. Rounding of the face.
  3. Acne and Bruising.
  4. Thinning of Skin.
  5. Slow Healing.
  6. Flushed Face.
  7. Weakness in Muscles.
  8. Severe fatigue and irritability.
  9. High Blood Pressure and Headache.


The result is an increase in heart rate and energy as part of the fight-or-flight response. This is how your body prepares for potentially dangerous or harmful situations.  This can affect from taking oral corticosteroid drugs. Or your body might produce too important cortisol. Our body can produce more cortisol due to several reasons including:


Stress triggers a combination of both hormonal and stress signals in the body.  These signals rush your adrenal glands to release hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

The result is an increase in heart rate and energy as part of the fight-or-flight response. This is how your body prepares for potentially dangerous or harmful situations.

Pituitary gland issues

The pituitary gland is situated at the base of your brain. People occasionally refer to it as the “ master gland ” because it monitors and helps control numerous of the body’s functions by releasing hormones.

Issues with the pituitary gland can cause it to under or over-produce hormones, including ACTH, which also triggers the adrenal glands to release further cortisol.

Tumors of  adrenal glands

Your adrenal glands sit above each  order. Adrenal gland excrescences can be benign

(noncancerous) or  nasty( cancerous) and range in size. Both types can  cache high  levels of hormones, including cortisol.   In addition, if the excrescence is large enough to  press  near organs, you might notice pain or a feeling of  wholeness in your  tummy. 



You should see a doctor for a blood test, If you suppose you might have high cortisol. High level situations can cause several nonspecific symptoms, which means several medical conditions and conditions may be responsible for them.

If you are experiencing the symptoms your healthcare professional may ask you for certain tests such as

  • Blood/Urine Tests
  • Cortisol Saliva Test
  • Imaging Test

Risks Caused due to high cortisol levels

Over the past two decades, research has increasingly shown that moderate to high levels can cause a variety of health problems, including: 

  1. Chronic Diseases
  2. Weight Gain
  3. Lack of Energy
  4. Insomnia
  5. Cushing’s Syndrome

Tips to lower your Cortisol

We recommend working with a qualified physician to determine the cause of your health problem. Additionally, it is recommended that you adopt effective lifestyle habits that will help you better control your hormonal levels. Here are some recommendations:  

Try to get the right amount of good night’s sleep.

Sometimes less is more. And in physical activities and exercises over doing can be very harmful.

Pay attention to your mental health and stress levels. Try to reduce them.

Practice different meditation and breathing techniques.

If you consider yourself a spiritual being, developing your faith can also help improve your cortisol levels.

Try healthy eating habits because nutrition has a lot of influence on hormonal balance.

Staying Hydrated is as  important as taking medicines. So keep yourself away from dehydration.


Cortisol is released when you are stressed. While it’s important to respond to physiological and psychological stressors, chronically high cortisol levels can make your health worse.

You can lower your HCL naturally by talking to your doctor and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

If you’re looking for natural ways to reduce cortisol levels and overall stress, try the simple lifestyle tips above. 


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