Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear.
Have you heard the term ‘fight-or-flight’? Cortisol fuels your body’s “fight-or-flight” instinct in a crisis. But that’s not all, cortisol also:
-Manages how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins -Keeps inflammation down -Regulates your blood pressure -Increases your blood sugar (glucose) -Controls your sleep/wake cycle -Boosts energy so you can handle stress and restores balance afterward
Cortisol is made by the adrenal glands, located at the top of the kidneys. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands in a 24-hour daily rhythm with a burst in the morning to help us awake and a decrease in the evening to help us sleep. However, chronic stress leads to the excretion of high levels of cortisol over extended periods of time leading to adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue leads to a lower release of cortisol, causing an increase in fatigue, pain, and inflammation. Reduced cortisol levels further impact the above list of functions linked to cortisol release.