Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stressors, both daily (e.g. waking up, low blood sugar) and unusual (e.g. emotional upset, infections, injury, surgery). Cortisol levels are highest in the morning, and then drop steadily throughout the day to their lowest point during sleep.
Cortisol is essential in regulating and mobilizing the immune system against infections and reducing inflammation. It helps to mobilize glucose, the primary energy source for the brain, and maintain normal blood sugar levels. While normal levels of cortisol are essential for life and optimal functioning of other hormones, particularly thyroid hormone, chronically elevated levels can be detrimental to health. Stress and persistently elevated cortisol levels can contribute to premature aging and chronic illness.
Low cortisol, particularly if low throughout the day indicates adrenal exhaustion, caused by some form of stressor, e.g. emotional stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet, nutrient deficiencies (particularly low vitamins C and B5), physical or chemical insults (chemo, radiation) or synthetic glucocorticoid medications that suppress cortisol production. Chronic stress depletes cortisol and is associated with symptoms of fatigue, allergies (immune dysfunction), chemical sensitivity, cold body temperature, and sugar craving. Symptoms of thyroid deficiency can also stem from low cortisol. Adequate sleep, gentle exercise, meditation, proper diet (adequate protein), ‘bioidentical’ progesterone, adrenal extracts, herbal, and nutritional supplements are often helpful in correcting low cortisol (hypoadrenia).
High cortisol suggests some form of adrenal stress, supplementation with topical hydrocortisone or use of corticosteroid medication. Heightened cortisol production by the adrenal glands is a normal response to routine stress and essential for health; when stress is chronic and cortisol output remains high over a prolonged period (months/years), breakdown of normal tissues (muscle wasting, thinning of skin, bone loss) and immune suppression can result. Common symptoms of chronic high cortisol include sleep disturbances, fatigue, depression, weight gain in the waist, anxiety.
Own it for life
Our exclusive data entry service is a convenient way to get your results into your private dashboard. Simply attach an image or a file of your lab test results, and one of our qualified data entry team members will add the results for you. We support all sorts of files, whether PDFs, JPGs, or Excel. This service is excellent whether you have a lot of reports to upload or are too busy to do the data entry yourself.
We strive to make the data entry process easy for you. Whether by offering dozens of templates to choose from that pre-populate the most popular laboratory panels or by giving you instant feedback on the entered values. Our data entry forms are an easy, fast, and convenient way to enter the reports yourself. There is no limit on how many lab reports you can upload.
billed every month
Data entry included
$6.60/month billed annually
Data entry included
own it for life
Are You a Health Professional?
Get started with our professional plan
Welcome to Healthmatters Pro.
Save time on interpreting lab results with the largest database of biomarkers online. In-depth research on any test at your fingertips, all stored and tracked in one place. Learn more
Pro Monthly Plus
for health professionals
$75 per month