Cortisone is a pregnane steroid hormone closely related to cortisol. It is one of the main hormones released by the adrenal gland in response to stress. Cortisone suppresses the immune system, thus reducing inflammation and attendant pain and swelling at the site of the injury.
Cortisone, a glucocorticoid, and epinephrine (adrenaline) are the main substances released by the body as a reaction to stress. They elevate blood pressure and prepare the body for a fight or flight response. Cortisone also prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Under stress situations the adrenal glands normally respond by increasing cortisone output.
While a high cortisone is a normal and healthy response to an acute stressor, high cortisone caused by a persistent stressor can lead to multiple dysfunctions and disease. Elevated cortisone is usually caused by different types of stressors (emotional, physical-(e.g. excessive exercise, injury, surgery), chemical-(e.g. environmental pollutants, medications), inflammations-(e.g. cancer, metabolic syndrome), pathogens-(e.g. bacterial, fungal, viral infections).
Typical acute symptoms/signs of high cortisone can include anxiety, nervous-irritability, self-perceived stress, sleep disturbances. More chronic elevated cortisone is commonly associated with the same symptoms seen with acutely high cortisone but also include memory problems, depression, loss of muscle mass, and weight gain in the waist. Insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome are also a consequence and cause of elevated cortisone, as are the diseases of aging such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and bone loss. When cortisone remains high these symptoms/conditions/syndromes/diseases progressively become more problematic over time.
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