Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cortisol is Making You Dumber

This is a follow up to my previous post (see below).

In addition to causing glucose levels to rise and growing your waist line, cortisol also destroys your memory! That’s right, excess cortisol damages your mind. Long-term exposure has been shown to cause neurons to shrivel – destroying neuronal connections and the memories that were stored in those connections.

So what happens if you have elevated cortisol levels for extended periods of time? A disease called Cushing's Syndrome perfectly illustrates the effects of long-term cortisol exposure. Cushing's Syndrome is a disease caused by a tumor which abnormally elevates cortisol levels.

Studies done on patients with Cushing's Syndrome have shown that the levels of cortisol are directly proportional to the loss of neurons! So more cortisol = Fewer neurons. These patients are also characterized by abdominal weight gain.

Reduce your stress - laugh! Here is a link to an interesting article talking about how laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter helps to lower cortisol levels, boost your immune system, and lower blood pressure.

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