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Cortisol Imbalance in Women: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Thursday, March 2nd 2023 2:00pm 5 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that is involved in many important functions in the body, including the regulation of metabolism, blood pressure, and the body’s response to stress. When cortisol levels are in balance, it can help maintain good health and well-being. However, when cortisol levels become imbalanced, it can lead to a range of health problems, particularly in women.

Cortisol imbalance causes

Cortisol levels can become imbalanced due to a variety of factors, including stress, lack of sleep, diet, illness, and medication. The most common cause of cortisol imbalance in women is stress. Chronic stress can cause the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol, leading to a condition known as hypercortisolism. This can cause symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, depression, and weight gain, especially in the abdominal area.

Lack of sleep is another factor that can contribute to cortisol imbalance. Sleep is essential for the regulation of cortisol levels, and when people don’t get enough sleep, it can cause cortisol levels to become imbalanced. This can lead to fatigue, poor concentration, and an increased risk of depression and anxiety.

Diet is also a factor that can contribute to cortisol imbalance. A diet that is high in sugar, processed foods, and caffeine can increase cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems. On the other hand, a diet that is low in nutrients and high in stress can cause cortisol levels to drop, leading to fatigue and a weakened immune system.

Illness and medication can also cause cortisol levels to become imbalanced. Certain illnesses, such as Cushing’s syndrome, can cause the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol, leading to hypercortisolism. Medications such as steroids can also increase cortisol levels, which can lead to a range of health problems.

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