Cortisol, a hormone that the adrenal cortex produces in response to stress, prepares the body to react to potentially dangerous situations. It increases the level of sugar in the bloodstream and the brain's use of glucose, while curbing non-essential bodily functions, such as those that support reproduction and growth. Cortisol also suppresses the immune system and decreases the release of digestive secretions.Know More
Cortisol plays an important role in protecting the body from imminently threatening situations by reallocating the body's resources to functions related to fighting against or fleeing from a threat. When the stressful situation ends, the body stops releasing the hormone. In the modern world, most stressful events do not involve physical danger. Experiencing pressure to perform at work or school, or juggling responsibilities at home, may last for an extended period of time. In response, the body keeps producing cortisol and its levels remain high rather than returning to normal. This continual release of cortisol has been shown to have negative health effects, such as anxiety, digestive troubles, heart disease and weight gain.
Researchers are exploring various ways to reduce high cortisol levels and prevent the negative effects of its overproduction. Music therapy and massage therapy have been shown to reduce cortisol levels in some patients. In cases where high cortisol levels are brought on by mental stress, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements may be helpful in restoring a healthy hormonal balance.Learn more about Glands & Hormones
The pituitary gland releases hormones needed by other parts of the body. It helps other organs and glands such as the thyroid perform necessary functions.Full Answer >
According to the BBC, blood and plasma transport hormones around the body. Many attach to hormone-specific plasma proteins, while others are free-roaming. They travel throughout the body via the extensive and complex system of blood vessels, the veins and capillaries.Full Answer >
Exercising, the addition of herbal supplements into the diet and eating fibrous foods are a few steps that can naturally lower the production of androgens in the body. High levels of androgens in the female body are associated with excess hair growth, mood disturbances and acne.Full Answer >
The anterior lobe of the pituitary gland produces six hormones that the body requires for growth, reproduction and regulation, according Emory Healthcare. Pituitary tumors affect one in five individuals. When this gland, that weighs less than a gram, malfunctions, it causes problems with the endocrine system and the neurological system.Full Answer >