Guest Sandy Posted August 21, 2001 Report Share Posted August 21, 2001 The Highs And Lows Of Cortisol In Dysglycemia The Link Between Chronic Stress And Syndrome X It's not simply how much cortisol is in the body, but how and when it is released by the adrenal glands that appears to play a key role in the development of life-threatening metabolic imbalances. This Week's Stories A Good Friend May Help Ease Stress, Fight Tumor Growth Salivary Cortisol: For Many, The Test Of Choice Full Issue (printable version) Subscribe Survey In a recent Swedish study, researchers measured salivary cortisol levels at specific times of the day in over 280 51-year-old men. Timed salivary testing reveals more information about the specific sensitivity and plasticity of adrenal hormone response than other assays, such as urine, that measure cumulative excretion, the researchers explained. They found that men with a blunted pattern of cortisol secretion response were much more likely to have increased body fat around the waist, higher blood pressure, and more lipid imbalances-a constellation of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes otherwise known as Syndrome X. How does adrenal gland dysfunction drive these metabolic imbalances? Normally, the adrenal glands pump out increased amounts of cortisol in response to physiological or emotional stress. After the stressor is gone, cortisol levels soon bounce back to normal. "Under the gun" of chronic stress, however, cortisol levels in the body can remain high for long periods of time, interfering with the ability of insulin to deliver glucose to surrounding cells and tissues. The result? Elevated blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and increased fat deposits to the stomach. But the human body is not designed to run in "overdrive" forever. Forced to pump out high levels of cortisol day after day, adrenal glands may eventually "burn out," the researchers explained, causing a loss of "plasticity" that manifests as a blunted cortisol response to environmental stimuli or circadian cues. Adrenal exhaustion itself may then trigger a vicious cycle of hormone imbalances linked to cardiac dysfunction and increased obesity in men, including deficiencies of testosterone and growth hormone, the researchers postulated. NOTE: In addition to the salivary assay of cortisol in the Adrenocortex Stress Profile, a morning cortisol and DHEA assessment is included as part of the Metabolic Dysglycemia Profile, which can reveal both elevations linked to insulin resistance and abdominal obesity, and lows signifying a blunted circadian adrenal response caused by possible adrenal exhaustion. Source: Rosmond R, Holm G, Bj?rntorp P. Food-induced cortisol secretion in relation to anthropometric, metabolic and haemodynamic variables in men. Int J Obes 2000;24:416-422. Call 800-522-4762 for more information or send your request for test kits and educational materials to firstname.lastname@example.org (Researched, written, and edited by Eddy Ball, Editor, Patrick Runkel, Associate Editor, and Scott Holmes, Contributing Medical Writer. Formatting for the Web by Jeff Stratton) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.