I believe it’s no one. Each of us must have experienced stress in life, although the frequency and intensity may be varied. However, there are so many ways to interpret a typical stressful situation for each person. For some people, stress could happen when there is a tight deadline at work. But for the others, simple situations like being interviewed for their job application or meeting strangers in a completely new environment can easily put them into stress. The triggers might be different from one to another. But essentially, nobody in this world would be free from stress no matter what their versions of triggering situation is.
Cortisol as a stress hormone
Considering that stress is very familiar to our lives, have you ever thought what actually happens to our body when we get stressed? Well, let me introduce you first to cortisol. Wait a minute; what is cortisol to be exact?
Cortisol clearly has something to do with stress. It is basically a hormone, produced by the adrenal glands that are located on top of our kidneys, and the presence of this hormone is emerged every time we feel stress. The more we get stressed, the more is released. In respond to stress, cortisol works in smart ways. Aside from helping to regulate blood pressure and immune system, it also maintains an adequate energy level whether to fight or to step aside when it comes to stress condition.
How low cortisol levels could affect our metabolism
According to the fact that cortisol is in charge to manage the appropriate energy level to respond to stress, it happens because cortisol plays an important role as a fuel in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism process in our body. That’s why, if we have low cortisol levels in our blood, our body metabolism rate would be slower than those with normal levels of cortisol, due to lack of fuel.
Slow metabolism means that our bodies would need much longer duration to digest food before transforming it into energy. This condition makes us keep gaining weight even though we do not eat large portions. Clearly, we cannot keep having low cortisol levels if we want to achieve our ideal weight.
Identify the causes and symptoms of low cortisol levels
But, before doing rush effort to raise our cortisol for the sake of fat loss, we better identify the causes and symptoms of low cortisol levels that we may suffer from to get the most suitable treatment.
Why? Because, low cortisol levels in the blood could be a sign of some serious health problems, such as: infectious diseases (e.g.: Tuberculosis, HIV) and the condition of adrenal insufficiency (e.g.: Addison’s disease). Even though, the low cortisol levels isn’t only caused by those conditions, but also under the circumstance of adrenal fatigue, which commonly affects busy people living in big cities.
The various kinds of causes surely generate some specific symptoms as outputs. People with Addison’s disease usually experience hyper pigmentation and abdominal pain, while those who suffer from adrenal fatigue constantly have insomnia, low blood pressure, and weight management trouble due to their slow metabolism.
However, the most common symptom of low cortisol levels in the blood is the feeling of never-ending fatigue that cannot be recovered by hours of sleeping. So, if the symptoms sound familiar to you, it’s still not too late to see the doctor to find out.
How to deal with low cortisol levels
Anyway, if our physical assessment result indicates the symptoms of low cortisol levels, we will be recommended to check our cortisol levels through laboratory test for seeking the real cause. A different cause needs a different solution.
For patients with severe conditions, the doctors would prescribe medications and supplements, or even surgery if necessary. But for the milder conditions, it’s highly recommended to have a better stress management, get a quality sleep at night, consume balanced nutritious foods, and do regular exercise on a daily basis to reach the normal level of cortisol in blood for metabolism rate acceleration.
To sum up, it’s time to start paying more attention to unnoticeable signs we may experience after all. Sometimes, we are not too concerned about our long last physical exhaustion or consistent difficulty in losing some weight. Who knows, it can lead to big problems in the future if our real disease is never solved. Love your body and live a healthy life!