Cortisol in Women and Stress
Women who are working are exposed to stress factors more than men. Stress is marked by an increase in cortisol levels in the blood, and too much cortisol in the blood affects your weight, immune system, blood pressure, and mood. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone of the body and is an essential chemical in the fight-or-flight response. It’s normal for you to have elevated cortisol during emergency situations, but prolonged elevation of cortisol due to chronic stress can lead to unhealthful consequences. There are three types of people who are vulnerable to an increased level of cortisol. First are the people that are in frequent physical, emotional, and mental stress. Second are those without regular sleep. Third are people who are losing weight.
High cortisol is bad for both men and women, but studies show that women are more prone to have high levels of cortisol. Does this mean that women are more stressed than men? Yes, women and men are fired up at work, but men tend to relax at home while the other tends to deal with housework and kids. In other words, women spend more hours under stress than men.
Lowering the cortisol level is vital because when this hormone is frequently on a high level, you are likely to suffer from weight gain, depression, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. High cortisol in men has shown to cause erectile dysfunction. Stress during pregnancy can endanger the unborn as the mother will most likely pass on the health risks of high cortisol to her child.