Adrenal Fatigue? What is it and how does it affect me and what the heck does Cortisol have to do with it?
Cortisol is one of the hormones made by the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are small glands located near the top of the kidneys. The Adrenal glands secrete aldosterone, cortisol, corticosterone and the androgens (sex hormones). When we are low on cortisol, we feel tired for reasons we don’t understand because this hormone mobilizes our energy levels and prepares the body for physical and emotional stress.
Cortisol is a life sustaining adrenal hormone essential to the maintenance of homeostasis. Called “the stress hormone,” cortisol influences, regulates or modulates many of the changes that occur in the body in response to stress including, but not limited to:
· Blood sugar (glucose) levels
· Fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism to maintain blood glucose (gluconeogenesis)
· Immune responses
· Anti-inflammatory actions
· Blood pressure
· Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
· Central nervous system activation
Cortisol levels normally fluctuate throughout the day and night in a circadian rhythm that peaks at about 8 AM and reaches its lowest around 4 AM. While it is vital to health for the adrenals to secret more cortisol in response to stress, it is als