The link between anxiety, stress and cortisol

Cortisol, cialis canadacialis canada cialiscialis or hydrocortisone, viagra genericviagra generic is a steroid hormone which is released in response to stress, viagra salesviagra sales anxiety and fear. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. 

The main benificial effects of cortisol during times of stress or fear are that it gives us a quick bust that:

  • Increases energy for survival reasons
  • Heightens our memory functions
  • Helps us focus
  • Lowers our sensitivity to pain
  • Helps maintain homeostasis in the body during difficult moments.

However it is only meant as a one off shot to get us out of difficult situations. We need to have a relaxation phase after the stress event to allow the system to rebalance and get back to normal functioning. If the stress, anxiety or fear becomes prolonged the cortisol becomes a problem in itself. 

High levels of cortisol over a prelonged period can also create a series of problems, including with our memory system. It can create 'flash back' memories of short-term emotional events and long-term exposure to cortisol damages cells in the hippocampus, which is the central part of our long term memory system. This damage results in impaired learning. It has also been shown that cortisol inhibits memory retrieval of already stored information. It also decreases bone formation and increases bloodpressure. High levels of perceived stress and increases in cortisol have also been found to increase wound healing time.

Things that can increase Corisol levels include

* Stress

* Caffeine may increase cortisol levels.

* Sleep deprivation

* Hypoestrogenism and melatonin supplementation increase cortisol levels in postmenopausal women.

* Burnout is associated with higher cortisol levels.

* Severe trauma or stressful events can elevate cortisol levels in the blood for prolonged periods.

* Anorexia nervosa may be associated with increased cortisol levels.

* Commuting by train increases cortisol levels relative to the length of the trip, its predictability and the amount of effort involved.

* Severe calorie restriction causes elevated baseline levels of cortisol.

* Continuous consumption of alcohol over an extended period of time has been shown to raise cortisol levels in the body.


Things that can reduce cortisol levels include relaxing, mindfulness, prolonged physical exercise, proper nutrition including raw vegitables and recently studies have found changing our goal orientation can also help. Many of the techniques on The Fear CourseThe Fear Course have been designed to reduce cortisol levels. 



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