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What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland when the body is under stress. Your hypothalamus directs the adrenal glands to secrete both cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is released as part of your daily hormonal cycle, but both hormones can also be released in reaction to perceived stress. Cortisol can also be released by physical and emotional stress as part of the body’s fight-or-flight. Cortisol helps your body become even more effective at producing glucose from proteins, and is designed to help quickly increase the body’s energy in times of stress.

Cortisol effects Weight Loss?

Cortisol can effect weight loss. What can happen then is something known as “insulin resistance.” In insulin resistance, the brain and some of the body’s cells fail to react to the presence of insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin levels may actually be high, and the pancreas continues to pump out, even more, insulin in an attempt to store the glucose left in the blood. The problem is the cells can’t react to the insulin that is released, and the glucose continues to circulate in the bloodstream. Then, when you eat, glucose levels rise even higher. The high levels of insulin circulating through the bloodstream also stimulate storage of fat and amino acids and prevent the breakdown of fat and protein. The fat cells in your abdomen are particularly sensitive to high insulin and are very effective at storing energy. Because abdominal fat cells are so close to your digestive organs, and there is an extensive network of blood vessels circulating in the abdominal area, it’s even easier for fat cells to store excess glucose there.

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