Cortisol Levels Effect Those With Anxiety Disorders

Cortisol is often referred to as the "stress hormone", because of your body's levels of cortisol increase in response to stressors. Since cortisol is so closely linked to stress, levels of the hormone are often of concern to those with anxiety disorders. High levels of the hormone affect the body by increasing blood sugar, suppressing the immune system, and affecting other hormones such as thyroid, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.

Cortisol levels can be elevated due to stress and other lifestyle factors, and they can also be elevated as a response to a medical problem or hormone imbalance. People with high cortisol levels include women in their last trimester of pregnancy, highly trained athletes, and people suffering from depression, alcoholism, malnutrition and panic disorders. People with extremely high cortisol levels may develop Cushing's syndrome, a medical condition that is generally caused by either treatment with glucocorticoid hormones (such as prednisone) or benign tumors on the pituitary gland.

Testing for elevated cortisol levels is a pretty simple procedure. Usually, your doctor will order a blood sample is taken, which will be checked in a lab to see how much cortisol is in your bloodstream. A saliva sample can also be used as an indicator of blood cortisol levels, although this method is less common.

Bloodstream cortisol levels vary depending on the time of day (diurnal variation), so they will be more elevated as certain times. Lowest cortisol levels occur between midnight and 4 am, and levels peak around 6 to 8 am.

Photo: Px Here

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

A new study reports that computer programs are able to use brain scans to distinguish between healthy individuals and those at risk of developing...

Neurontin, generically known as gabapentin, is an anticonvulsant drug approved by the FDA to treat certain types of seizures in epileptics...

There are a number of herbal remedies touted as treatments for anxiety, and it can be hard to know which ones actually work and which are little...

Spending prolonged periods of time gazing at your reflection can cause serious psychological harm, even in those with no history of anxiety over...

If you struggle with exam anxiety, you’re not alone. Test-taking can be one of the anxiety causes while in school, but it can be overcome.

...

More Articles

A literature review will be presented to the 20th European Congress of Psychiatry this week by a team from the Mayo Clinic. The group will...

Parnate, known generically as tranylcypromine, is an antidepressant of the class known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). It is usually...

A new series of studies and experiments by the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, illustrate the stress- and fear-...

If you're feeling overwhelmed by constant anxiety, or even just bothered by occasional bouts of stress, there are some lifestyle and health habits...

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain plays a role in mood and anxiety disorders. The most common antidepressants, selective serotonin...

One problem that anxiety can cause is head pressure. It is not a symptom discussed as often as some others, maybe because not everyone who...

There’s no sure way of preventing generalized anxiety disorder, but there are certain steps you can take to keep your anxiety disorder from...

Neurontin, generically known as gabapentin, is an anticonvulsant drug approved by the FDA to treat certain types of seizures in epileptics...

Postpartum depression and anxiety are real, debilitating disorders that affect some women after they give birth.

Brought on by hormone...

If you struggle with exam anxiety, you’re not alone. Test-taking can be one of the anxiety causes while in school, but it can be overcome.

...

Tenormin (known generically as atenolol) is a beta blocker often used to control the physical symptoms of anxiety. Beta blockers are quite...

Librium, known generically as chlordiazepoxide, is a benzodiazepine used to relieve anxiety and to control the agitation that is a side effect of...

According to a study by Sonya Deschênes of Concordia University and colleagues at Ryerson University in Toronto, and published in Cognitive...

The essential amino acid tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate a number of important brain functions....

We know it is necessary to breathe but do not always appreciate how important it is to breathe well.

In all types of meditation, energy...