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Cortisol… Can’t live with it, can’t live without it!

When ever I feel stress about to come on while I am at home doing work on my laptop, I decide to work out intermittently. This then made me think our bodies were not designed to hold on to stress, so let me shed some light on cortisol.

What is cortisol?

Cortisol is classified as a stress hormone that is secreted/created in the adrenal glands due to feeling physical or emotional stress.

Is cortisol bad for you?

Having too little can leave you seriously drained and too much of it can make your body gain more weight, lose muscle and makes you more vulnerable to illnesses.

Ok Adrian you’ve stated this, but I am not seeing the pro’s and con’s here.

Why do our bodies produce this stuff which can practically make us look like the humans from the Wall-E film (Click here and watch the film, you’ll understand)

Our bodies are uniquely designed to face many scenarios e.g. when its hot your body sweats to aid cooling down the body, when you exercise your body creates good cholesterol (HDLs) which swims through the blood to get rid of the bad cholesterol to reduce the chances of having heart diseases. I think that concludes on what makes our body’s AWESOME!

Ok now lets get back to the topic at hand which is CORTISOL, lets start with the negatives shall we.


  • Too much can affect the T lymphocytes aka T cells aka a form of white blood cell being produced, which means you are more than likely to get ill

  • Too much can make you do a number 1 more frequently and retains the salts in your body

  • Increase in blood pressure

  • Speeds ageing

  • Fatigue and restlessness (bad combination)

  • Prevents insulin to break down glucose for energy which leaves the bits of glucose floating around, then resulting it being stored as fat.

  • Infertility

  • Reduced cognitive ability


  • When cortisol is first introduced it sends blood to where it is essential and gets you action ready

  • When used for a short period of time it becomes somewhat of a natural steroid, meaning you become like momma bear beating on papa bear for trying to eat her babies.

I may not have covered this topic in depth, but I do hope I was able to give everyone a glimpse of what takes place inside of your body in those moments of stress.

The take home lesson here is, if you hold on to stress for too long it will have an adverse affect on your body not just on your mind. Eat some wholegrain food or vegetables, keep yourself hydrated, exercise or try having a deep sleep.

“Its not stress that kills us, its how we handle it”

Hans Selye

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