Cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, is often blamed for a range of issues from weight gain to poor sleep. While some social media influencers claim to manage cortisol levels through various lifestyle changes, experts suggest that the hormone’s role is more nuanced. Cortisol does have essential functions like modulating the body’s fight-or-flight response and maintaining metabolism. However, experts caution that blaming cortisol for every health issue is misleading, and suggest focusing on overall lifestyle choices rather than worrying about cortisol levels.
- Cortisol Functions: The hormone is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress, aiding in fight-or-flight situations by releasing glucose into the bloodstream. It also regulates blood pressure and metabolism.
- Misleading Claims: Social media influencers often simplify cortisol’s role, attributing various health issues solely to cortisol imbalance. Medical tests are required to determine cortisol levels, and even then, the results can be complex to interpret.
- Balanced Approach: While maintaining a balanced cortisol level is important, experts caution against blaming the hormone for all health problems. The focus should be on making healthier lifestyle choices.
- Medical Concerns: Abnormally high or low cortisol levels could be symptomatic of medical conditions like Cushing’s syndrome or Addison’s disease, requiring professional medical evaluation.
- Lifestyle Choices: Doctors suggest focusing on holistic well-being, like managing chronic stress and maintaining consistent sleep, rather than obsessing over cortisol levels.