Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health


What is cortisol?


Symptoms of excess cortisol (hypercortisolism)

Causes of excess cortisol

Prevention / remedies / cures / treatment for excess cortisol

Insufficient cortisol


What is cortisol?

Cortisol is the main hormone produced by stress and injury. Over short periods, it is a beneficial healing agent. However, over long periods excess cortisol can cause cortisol resistance (akin to insulin resistance). In this case more and more cortisol keeps getting produced, but its healing abilities become ineffective.

Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids are involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including stress response, immune response, regulation of inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, blood electrolyte levels and behaviour.

Cortisol is the main corticosteroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland in most animals. It is released into the bloodstream mainly in response to stress, and to a lesser extent by a low blood-glucose level.

Cortisol's main functions are to suppress the immune response, to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis (glucose from non-carbohydrate sources like proteins and fats), and to aid in the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. (5)

Cortisol decreases bone formation. (1, 6)

In the 24 hour diurnal body cycle, cortisol is at its lowest level between midnight and 4am, and reaches its peak around 8 am to 9 am. (8)

Various synthetic pharmaceutical near-forms of cortisol which can be patented (cortisol look-alikes such as Prednisone) are used to treat a variety of diseases by conventional medical practitioners. They are used to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. Like any good pharmaceutical product they suppress the symptoms in the short term, but in the long term they have potent side-effects.


Cortisone is frequently confused with cortisol.

Cortisone is a steroid hormone. A synthetic look-alike (hydrocortisone) is used by the pharmaceutical industry as a pharmaceutical prodrug. A prodrug is a medication or compound that is metabolized (converted) into a pharmacologically active drug after taking it.

Cortisone is converted by the liver back to the active steroid cortisol by the action of an enzyme produced in the kidneys. If this enzyme is too high, just a little stress can cause way too much cortisol. If enzyme is too low, the stress will not receive the healing benefits of cortisol. (2, 3, 4, 5)

Symptoms of excess cortisol (hypercortisolism)

Causes of excess cortisol

Prevention / remedies / cures / treatment for excess cortisol

If you use any remedies from Grow Youthful, please come back next week (or whenever you have an outcome) and let us know about your experience. Please leave a comment as many people are interested.

See details of remedies recommended by Grow Youthful visitors, and their experience with them.

Insufficient cortisol (hypocortisolism)

Virtually the opposite symptoms to having excess cortisol - in other words, insufficient reaction to wounds and stress and low or slow healing response.

This is often associated with Addison's disease, Nelson's syndrome or Sheehan's syndrome.

Causes of insufficient cortisol may include the following. However, it depends on how long the disease has been established.


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