Effects of low cortisol levels include fatigue, muscle weakness, poor appetite, weight loss and abdominal pain. Cortisol, an adrenal hormone that affects almost every cell and organ in the body, is responsible for helping the body respond to stress, according to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service.Know More
Cortisol is important for controlling blood pressure, immune function, metabolism and the body's stress response, according to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. Low levels of cortisol can be due to Addison's disease, which is characterized by the body's inability to produce sufficient cortisol; hypopituitarism, which is a failure of the pituitary gland to signal the adrenal glands to produce cortisol; or from glucocorticoid drugs, which suppress normal pituitary or adrenal gland function and are contained in pills, skin creams, eyedrops, inhalers, joint injections and chemotherapy, according to MedlinePlus.
The gradual destruction of the adrenal cortex by the body's own immune system causes most cases of Addison's disease, reports MedicineNet. Primal adrenal insufficiency results when 90 percent of the adrenal cortex has been destroyed, rendering the gland incapable of producing glucocorticoid (cortisol) and mineralocorticoid (aldosterone) hormones. Insufficient secretion of ACTH by the pituitary gland can also cause Addison's disease.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases
Treatment for low cortisol levels, which are typically caused by Addison's disease, involves taking synthetic hydrocortisone tablets once or twice per day, explains MedicineNet.com. In pregnant women who cannot tolerate oral medications due to vomiting and nausea, hydrocortisone or cortisol injections may be used instead.Full Answer >
Some conditions that have been linked to high cortisol levels are a weakened immune system, abdominal obesity, hypertension and hyperglycemia, according to an article published by the University of New Mexico. Prolonged elevated levels of cortisol, and the physical changes and potentially serious conditions that can result from it, are collectively referred to as Cushing's syndrome. Additional symptoms associated with Cushing's syndrome are mood swings, depression, weakness, increased thirst, and a disruption of menstruation, as noted by the Yale School of Medicine.Full Answer >
Rickets, cardiovascular disease, cognitive issues, asthma, bone pain, muscle weakness and cancer are associated with low levels of vitamin D, according to WebMD. Vitamin D deficiency may also play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and glucose intolerance.Full Answer >
Elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone levels, a condition that leads to hyperthyroidism, are associated with symptoms such as light sensitivity, visual disturbances, increased heart rate, anxiety and weight loss, according to Lab Tests Online. Other symptoms include hand tremors, difficulty sleeping, weakness and diarrhea.Full Answer >