Preventative Care

Premier Physician Network providers answer frequently asked questions about preventative care.

What is the hormone cortisol, and how does an imbalance affect women?

Cortisol is a hormone frequently known as the stress hormone, according to the American Osteopathic AssociationOff Site Icon (AOA).

When people become stressed, the body reacts by producing and releasing cortisol, according to the AOA. Studies have shown that if you have a chronic imbalance of cortisol, the increased levels can put you at risk for health issues, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty recovering from exercise
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Low libido
  • Memory problems
  • Sleeping issues
  • Weight gain

Not all cortisol is bad. It is normal for cortisol levels to increase slightly in the morning as you get revved up for the day, but they should lower as the day goes on, according to the AOA.

For more information about cortisol and the effects of an imbalance, talk with your doctor.

Learn more:

Source: Suzanne Bell, MD, Vandalia Family Care; Tracie Bolden, MD, Fairfield Road Physician Offices; Timothy Markus, MD, Dayton Heart Center; Allison Mendenhall, PA-C, Troy Primary Care Physicians; Katrina Paulding, MD, Samaritan North Family Physicians; Breanna Veal, PA-C, Walden Ponds Primary Care: James Halderman, MD, Jamestown Family Medicine; Christopher Lauricella, DO, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Marcus Washington, MD, Premier Health Family Medicine; Ann DeClue, MD, Ann DeClue, MD; Angelia Mickle, DNP, Jamestown Family Medicine; Leelmohan Ravikumar, MD, Troy Primary Care Physicians; Aaron Block, MD, MPH, Franklin Family Practice; Mansi Amin, DO, SureCare Medical Center, Tammy Taylor, DO, The Pediatric Group