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Cortisol, its functions, symptoms & levels by Jason Juxon-Smith

Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone.” and it is released when you experience Acute stress, (like almost getting into a car accident but swerving last minute) Chronic stress, (Long-term stress, like hating your job or being in pain) and Traumatic stress, (like experiencing a life-threatening event, a loss, or abuse at any age). Hormones are chemicals that your adrenal glands produce and release. They coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues. These signals tell your body what to do and when to do it. This hormone affects almost every organ and tissue in your body. It regulates your body’s stress response and helps control your fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, or your metabolism. It suppresses inflammation, regulates blood pressure, and blood sugar, and helps control your sleep-wake cycle.

Unfortunately, when we have high levels of cortisone in our body, it can cause very harmful effects and can also cause Cushing's syndrome. Higher levels of cortisol can cause weight gain, (especially in your face and abdomen), fatty deposits between your shoulder blades, wide and purple stretch marks on your stomach, muscle weakness, high blood sugar, which often turns into Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), excessive hair growth in people assigned female at birth, and weak bones (also called osteoporosis) often resulting in fractures.

You can work out every day but still suffer from the effects of cortisone if your stress levels are not regulated. That is why it's important that you find ways of relieving your stress such as practicing mindfulness, learning coping mechanisms to help you manage your anxiety, speaking to your therapist, possibly the grief ministry (if your church has one), or simply check-in with a friend. In 2022, it is vital that we strengthen the skills and mental fortitude of our minds and not just our body. The world is changing and things can get stressful. Don't forget to give your mind a break, apply for that new job, distance yourself from toxic people, and most of all give yourself some love.

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