Cortisol – what is it, the level of the hormone in the blood. Norms of cortisol in women and men


A person finds himself in a dangerous position, and suddenly forces appear from somewhere, thoughts come up, how to get out of it. He immediately makes a decision, not noticing the pain. This happens because in this situation a hormone is produced that helps to cope with a stressful state..

What is cortisol

This is the name of the hormone of the adrenal cortex, which is secreted by the body when there is a threat to life and health. Its appearance is a reaction to danger. Cortisol – what is it, why is it called the stress hormone? The substance helps in a difficult situation:

  • temporarily increase strength;
  • increase efficiency;
  • survive the shock;
  • increase the speed of the reaction;
  • improve brain activity;
  • dull the pain.

What is cortisol responsible for? It regulates protein, carbohydrate, mineral and fat metabolism, provides the body with amino acids, glucose. Hormone cortisol:

  • enhances metabolic processes;
  • stabilizes blood pressure;
  • protects a person from infection;
  • normalizes sugar;
  • during pregnancy helps the formation of a mucous layer in the lungs of the fetus;
  • anti-inflammatory.

Deviation of the hormone level from the norm causes serious problems. The main reasons for this are malfunctions of the adrenal cortex, ovaries, and thyroid gland. If the indicators are low, there is a possibility:

  • losing weight;
  • Depression
  • reduced pressure;
  • menstrual disorders;
  • muscle weakness;
  • glycemia;
  • Anxiety
  • impaired fertility.

Increased hormone levels are also bad. It is necessary to reduce them, otherwise the appearance of:

  • a larger abdomen with thin arms and legs;
  • face shape change;
  • sleep disturbances;
  • feelings of hunger;
  • heartburn;
  • constipation
  • decreased immunity;
  • Depression
  • violation of bone strength;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • headaches;
  • stomach cramps;
  • infertility.

Cortisol is the norm in women

The symptoms of hormone abnormalities in women can be identified by the appearance of symptoms – tachycardia begins before menstruation. Under stress, there is a desire to consume certain foods, such as sweets. Indicators of hormone levels increase during puberty, and during pregnancy increase many times over. Decrease begins with menopause.

The norm of cortisol in the blood of women in the morning is from 130 to 610 nmol / L. The danger is a decrease in performance from the norm. A deficiency can cause:

  • increased body hair;
  • rash onset;
  • the appearance of multiple age spots;
  • menstrual irregularities – an increase in the interval, a decrease in the number of secretions, a complete cessation;
  • infertility.

Cortisol is the norm in men

This hormone has a special effect on the body of men. He is the enemy of testosterone, which is responsible for the development of sperm, increased libido. With stable functioning of the body, hormones are balanced. With an increase in cortisol, testosterone decreases, many problems arise. The norm of cortisol in the blood in men in the morning is 65-330 nmol / l.

To bring the system to balance, it is necessary to lower the level of cortisol, otherwise its increased amount in men causes:

  • decrease in muscle mass;
  • Depression
  • acceleration of the aging process;
  • instability of the psyche;
  • sexual problems;
  • increased muscle tension during bodybuilding;
  • the appearance of pain after training;
  • muscle weakening.

Cortisol test

The hormone in the blood is bound to proteins. Material for research is taken from a vein. It is necessary to take a blood test for cortisol on an empty stomach, with a calm state, before that 10 hours do not eat. To obtain objective results when decoding, you need to properly prepare. For this, it is worth giving up on:

  • sports activities;
  • sexual intercourse;
  • taking oral contraceptives;
  • alcohol
  • fatty foods;
  • tea, coffee;
  • cigarettes;
  • Dietary supplements with opiates;
  • preparations containing estrogen.

Urinary cortisol

Indicators of the level of the hormone in the urine change with pathologies. Its norm is 28.5-213.7 mcg / day. Cortisol in urine differs from blood – it is in free form – it objectively shows how the adrenal glands work. The collection of material for analysis has features:

  • daily urine is required, with the exception of the first portion in the morning;
  • in a 3-liter jar put 1 g of boric acid – a preservative;
  • mix the entire amount, pour 100 ml separately for analysis;
  • urine storage temperature during collection – from 4 to 8;
  • you need to tell the laboratory assistant the total amount of material.

Cortisol in Saliva

One of the informative analyzes – shows the level of free form hormone in the blood. Determination of cortisol in saliva can be carried out at any time, but the most accurate values ​​when the material is collected at 23 hours. The nightly rate in ng / ml is 13.8-3.3. For analysis, no special preparation is required, but a special device is necessary for collecting saliva. It is important that there is no bleeding gums. It is desirable:

  • exclude alcohol per day;
  • in an hour – do not brush your teeth, stop smoking;
  • in 10 minutes – rinse your mouth with water.

How to lower cortisol

To bring hormone levels to normal, it is necessary to use foods that have antioxidant effects, have vitamin C – vegetables, fruits, juices. How to lower cortisol? To do this, recommend:

  • balance nutrition;
  • eliminate the causes of depression;
  • avoid stress;
  • drink coffee, teas;
  • increase protein intake;
  • take vitamin C pills.

To lower a high level of hormone helps the following activities:

  • muscle relaxation;
  • meditation
  • weight loss;
  • taking corticosterone;
  • the use of fish oil;
  • testosterone replacement therapy;
  • traditional medicine – decoctions of Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus, St. John’s wort;
  • the use of sports supplements – hormone blockers.

Cortisol blockers

Bodybuilders take drugs that suppress the activity of the hormone in order to prevent muscle damage after training, to preserve them in case of fat loss. The most affordable cortisol blocker, ascorbic acid, is sold at the pharmacy. Special drugs that help reduce the amount of the hormone can be purchased at sports nutrition stores. Popular are:

  • amino acids (BCAAs);
  • Whey Protein;
  • Clenbuterol;
  • Cortislim;
  • Thermoloid.