Do not ignore these marks on the body, as they are most likely due to high levels of the stress hormone, also known as cortisol.
Although stress is intertwined with its negative effects, the truth is that it serves a purpose. Stress can push us to complete a project on time, to remind us to wear our mask and in some situations can even save our lives. However, a stressful daily life is particularly harmful to health and is directly linked to the stress hormone, also known as cortisol.
Cortisol under the microscope
"Cortisol is a 'fight or flight' hormone produced in times of stress and inflammation," explains the functional medicine dietitian., dr. Lacey Dunn. As the body perceives stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol, which causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
Again, this is not necessarily "bad", but when cortisol levels remain elevated for an extended period of time, can have a number of health consequences.
Chronic high cortisol levels can adversely affect the gut microbiome and your digestive system, immune health, energy levels and may reduce your insulin sensitivity, to help accelerate aging, even cause feelings of anxiety and depression.
The warning signs
There are some classic signs of high cortisol levels to look out for:
Fatigue but also in the "cheetah"
"The classic sign of high cortisol is the feeling of fatigue and simultaneous overexertion," says Dr.. Sara Gottfried, doctor trained at Harvard. If you feel exhausted, but you can not sleep, for example, is indicative.
"This is usually accompanied by a symptom of fatigue all day," he adds.
"If your cortisol levels are still high while you sleep, "Your body can not recover while you rest," he points out. "As a result, you wake up feeling tired, like you need a coffee, that increases cortisol while you may have difficulty recovering from exercise ».
Dr.. Lacey Dunn reports that if you experience brain fog or concentration problems on a regular basis, It could be a sign that your cortisol levels are too high.
This is because high levels of cortisol can damage the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls most of our cognitive functions, such as decision making and concentration.
Hair loss can also be a sign that something is wrong with your cortisol levels. This is because cortisol production activates the body to produce a fatty secretion called sebum and high sebum production can clog the hair follicles..
Another sign of high cortisol levels is high blood pressure. "When the 'fight or flight' mode is activated and cortisol levels rise, we have an increase in blood pressure and heart rate and the blood vessels constrict "explains Dr.. Lacey Dunn.
This is exactly why chronic stress levels can lead to heart problems.