Stress hormones are a group of hormones produced by the body in response to stress. The main stress hormone is cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal gland in response to signals from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Cortisol is often referred to as the “stress hormone” because it helps the body respond to stress by increasing blood sugar levels, suppressing the immune system, and increasing heart rate and blood pressure.
In short-term stress situations, cortisol helps the body respond to stress and return to normal when the stressor has passed. However, chronic stress can lead to persistently high cortisol levels, which can have negative effects on physical and mental health, including increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
Treatment for elevated cortisol levels may involve lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress through exercise, meditation, and stress management techniques, as well as medications, such as anti-anxiety drugs or cortisol-blocking drugs. It is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the best approach to treatment.