So I sent a email to my friend Dr.Bryan Walsh the other day with a bunch of questions about the stress hormone and its relationship with health and bodybuilding. I expected a bunch of answers. What I got was the reality of cortisol and our bodies.
Low cortisol is rarely talked about but unfortunately there is not a lot of information out there about it. Most people, including researchers, are more interested in the effects of high cortisol in the body.
I’m happy to talk about low cortisol with you, but it’s not a very sexy topic, however it’s a really important one.
Everyone knows that high cortisol leads to immune system suppression, specifically the Th1 side. What most people don’t know however is that we need cortisol to have an immune response in the first place. Low cortisol is also associated with a depressed Th2 response (antibody production), which has it’s own issues on our health.
The other major thing to consider is that many of the chronic diseases like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc, all present with low cortisol.
There are also correlations between low cortisol and some mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as gut issues.
Interestingly, many of the issues of high cortisol are also present with low cortisol, albeit via different mechanisms. For example high cortisol causes immune system and gut issues, but so do low cortisol.
Also, I’d have to look into it more, but I remember once reading that low cortisol is correlated with high estrogen in men.
Bottom line – not enough is known about it. But ask anyone with low cortisol levels and they’ll tell you it sucks. Aches, pain, fatigue, etc.
Tags: Antibody Production, Anxiety And Depression, Anxiety Depression, Bodybuilding, Bottom Line, Bryan Walsh, Chronic Diseases, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Correlations, Dr Bryan, Email, Estrogen, Fibromyalgia, High Cortisol, Immune Response, Immune System Suppression, Low Cortisol Levels, Mood Disorders, Stress Hormone, Th2