Cortisol is the medical term used for the primary stress hormone of the human body. Think of it as the adrenaline that we use as our defense in stressful situations. It basically works on the impulses of the brain providing a certain mood from stress, to fear depending on the situation at hand.
The Beneficial Functions of Cortisol
Besides triggering stress levels in the body, cortisol has other ways in which it helps us to maintain a healthy body. These include helping us to burn off calories, helps to reduce inflammation, provides proper sleep cycle, regulates blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Plus, it helps to boost our energy naturally and helps to take the stress levels down as well as triggering it.
Testing Cortisol Levels
Because of its crucial part to our overall health, there will be times when doctors will want to check cortisol levels in the body. This is done through a detailed blood test that can be time-consuming. The reason being the blood is drawn once in the morning then again hours later. This gives a different reading on the cortisol levels in the body and whether these are the proper levels. As for a Cortisol Home Test Kit that gives an individual an opportunity to test their levels in the comfort of their own home with only testing their saliva, these should never be used in place of an actual medical professional. First, the test has to be done as instructed on the box, second this is only the first step, it is always best to see a doctor have the levels checked in a lab as well.
Problems with Cortisol Levels
Not having good cortisol levels can be like not having say good calcium or vitamin D levels, it can lead to some serious health issues in the body. This is why cortisol levels should be tested when a doctor suspects there could be a problem because an imbalance of any kind will cause health problems some more serious than others. Too much cortisol or too little cortisol can lead to diseases, such as Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease. These conditions can bring about symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, muscle weakness, and nausea just to name a few. Some other symptoms a person can experience with an imbalance in cortisol levels are frequent vomiting, dehydration, and frequent diarrhea. Another sign of cortisol imbalance is not being able to control stress levels which leads to conditions such as anxiety and depression.
So, although cortisol may not be a term we are associated with, turns out it is a vital part of our body’s overall function. Maintaining its proper balance will help us to ensure good health, and a good positive outlook on life. So, if a doctor recommends going to a lab to have your cortisol levels checked it may seem like a hassle to take the time to do so, but it will be worth to know one way or another if the levels or correct or not.