Stress Hormones

Stress hormones, namely Cortisol, GH and Norepinephrine are released at the time people go through high stress. The system responsible for regulating the hormones is known as the endocrine system. The hormone Cortisol is believed to affect the metabolic system and the hormone norepinephrine is responsible for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), depression and hypertension.


Recent studies have revealed that during stressful situations people tend to eat more of comfort foods so as to feel good, leading to weight gain.


How Does Stress Hormones Affect our Health?


The stress hormone cortisol is one of the main hormones released in the fight or flight response. It is released by the adrenal cortex. It is usually regulated, and cortisol levels return to normal after the fight or flight response ceases within the human body. This hormone is intended to help the human body system.


Cortisol aids in many important functions that the human body requires. These functions may vary from allowing the kidneys to produce hypo-tonic urine to cooperating with the hormone adrenaline or to create emotional short term memories in the brain. The stress hormone cortisol has innumerable uses within the body.


Effects of Cortisol On Body


High levels of cortisol can easily contribute to the symptoms or the risk factors of heart disease.


1. High blood pressure/hypertension.


2. Increase in blood pressure.



3. Elevated blood sugar.


4. Reduces immune responses.


5. Increased stomach fat. Medical studies link stomach fat to higher cholesterol levels, stroke, and heart attack. Obesity is one of the leading risk factors in heart disease.


6. Oxygen free radicals. The stress hormone cortisol rouses the production of oxygen free radicals. These are toxic. These wreak havoc can cause your immune defenses. This byproduct of stress hormones damages the lining of the arteries. In the body it can also cause less flexibility in response to the natural changes in blood flow. 


Effects of Norepinephrine On Body


Surges of the stress hormone norepinephrine (also known as noradrenaline), often accompanies strong emotions. It sparks a series of molecular events that ultimately strengthen the connections between neurons.


1. During emotional arousal, the stress hormone norepinephrine is released by neurons that project widely too many brain regions, including the hippocampus and the amygdala, which are involved in the formation of emotional memory.


2. Brain stimulation by norepinephrine had also been found to induce a phenomenon known as long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP involves a lasting increase in the strength of nerve connections, or synapses.


3. In studies of mice, it is revealed that norepinephrine, leads to the addition of a chemical phosphate group to GluR1 receptors at sites that play an important role in their delivery to nerve synapses.


4. The tests of emotional memory in people have shown that blocking the receptors for norepinephrine reduces the effects of emotion on learning and memory.  


However, the secretion of stress hormones can be controlled using dietary and lifestyle recommendations. 

Top Comments

That hits the target perfectly. Thanks!
by Brandice     19-Feb-2012

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