Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body. It controls the body’s blood sugar levels, regulates
metabolism, it prevents inflammation, controls salt and water balance.
Blood levels of cortisol are high in the morning and fall throughout the day. Steady daytime levels of the stress hormone cortisol are associated with health problems like inflammation, obesity and cancer.
Chronic stress may hinder variability of cortisol levels, this is known as stress-related circadian dysregulation.
Inflammation and the immune system dysfunction are the major cause of the loss of variation in cortisol levels.
Fatigue, cancer, depression, and obesity are associated with less variation in cortisol.
Viral infections, vigorous exercises, caffeine and sleep deprivation can cause abnormal increase in cortisol levels. Healthy lifestyle of regular exercise, sound sleep and eating healthy diet can restore cortisol rhythms.