Dr. Emdur describes the association between stress and cortisol, which is an adrenal-cortex hormone.
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What is the connection between stress and cortisol? You know, of all of the hormones in our body, the cortisol is the only one that increases with age. Cortisol does several good things, it balances our blood sugars, it is anti-inflammatory, it helps us fight infection, but prolonged elevation of your cortisol levels has deleterious effects. It raises our blood pressure, contributing to heart disease and stroke. It also causes fat to be deposited in our mid-section. So, you don’t want to have constantly elevated cortisol. What raises our cortisol levels is constant stress. Your stress levels go up. Your cortisol levels go up and you will never lose weight. So the key to balancing your cortisol level is really to control stress. The ways to do that are, you know, read a book, go for a walk, have a good laugh, go on vacation, Yoga, Tai Chi, take a break, take a five-minute power nap. The lower your cortisol levels you will live healthy, happier and you will actually be able to lose weight.