Cortisol, the norm in women
Cortisol (another name for it is hydrocortisone) -one of the hormones, which in our body produces the cortex of the adrenal glands. Its role for health is difficult to overestimate. It helps us adequately respond to stressful situations, regulates blood pressure, carbohydrate metabolism and the breakdown of fats. In periods difficult for a person, for example, during prolonged physical stress, malnutrition or even hunger, this substance supplies muscles with energy. In addition, cortisol is a remarkable natural anti-inflammatory agent.
What is the norm of cortisol in the blood? What determines the level of cortisol and what does it affect? An interesting feature of this hormone is its inconstancy. In the morning, its content in the body as much as possible, decreases significantly during the day, reaching a minimum level by the evening. In addition, serious physical activity, intense mental activity, and severe stress are the main reasons that elevated cortisol can cause. The norm in women, taking into account all these fluctuations, is 140-600 nm / l.
If the level of cortisol in the body is negligibleincreases as a result of stress, it can even have some positive effect. Cortisol stimulates the body's ability to survive in difficult conditions: there is a surge of physical strength, brain activity is activated and immunity is even increased. Such a positive effect on the whole body as a whole, psychologists use in the treatment of various phobias, in which case cortisol acts as an auxiliary. But every medal has a flip side. If a person is in a state of stress for a long time and constantly has elevated cortisol, negative results will soon appear: chronic fatigue, memory impairment, suppression of thyroid function, increased blood pressure - this is far from a complete list of possible negative consequences of such a situation.
Infringement of the maintenance of a cortisol in an organism it is possibleto reveal at the analysis of a blood on hormones. The analysis will help to detect possible diseases. However, there is an exception - not only can the disease lead to an increase in cortisol. In addition to daily fluctuations in its content, as well as changes caused by various loads on the body, pregnancy - that's what can cause elevated cortisol. The rate at women during pregnancy increases approximately in 5 times. Another reason may be the taking of certain medications, including oral contraceptives.
Fans of protein diets will be interested to knowabout another curious phenomenon of cortisol. Adhering to the protein diet, many women believe that in this way they can maintain harmony or lose excess pounds. However, a large number of proteins in the body often leads to a completely opposite result. Cortisol is growing, the norm in women is exceeded, which leads to a change in metabolism, while losing muscle mass and the accumulation of fat begins. However, there are some tricks: if simultaneously with protein food a small amount of carbohydrates enters the body, then the level of cortisol does not change.
In addition to all listed reasons for the level changecortisol, which are physiological in nature, there are also diseases in which cortisol changes. The norm in this case is significantly exceeded or, conversely, the content of the hormone falls. The cause of the increase in the level of this substance can be diseases of the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, ovaries, diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis and even AIDS. At any suspicion that the level of cortisol in the body is increased or lowered it is necessary to undergo an examination with an endocrinologist who will prescribe a blood test or a urine test for cortisol. The norm in women, recall, can vary, but should remain within 140-600 nm / l.