Cortisol, what First Responders need to know

Cortisol

This word often brings up negative connotations of stress and weight gain

But cortisol is NOT bad

In fact we cannot survive without it

It’s part of a system that helped us to adapt and survive stress and still does

But our stress is different now then primitive times

We have a lot more for longer periods of time

Cortisol’s effects are very functional short term
BUT
Create dysfunction long term

The problems arise when we have too much for too long

WHY? ( my fave ? 😉)
SWIPE ⬅️⬅️⬅️ for a distilled version of the big points

Cortisol is a hormone that
📌Supports our stress response
📌Helps us regulate our circadian rhythms
📌Regulates glucose metabolism

Our body prioritizes survival and our stress response over everything else

And so Cortisol sits at the top of the hormone hierarchy ( top of the food chain so to speak )

If you think of our hormones like a symphony orchestra

Your brain is the conductor

They make beautiful cohesive music and all work together under optimal circumstances

But if one gets too dominant
Starts to play over the others
The whole symphony is then thrown off

Your body will prioritize Cortisol at the expense of other systems namely, it depresses

Immune – inflammation
Reproductive -sex hormones
Digestive -Nutrient absorption
Neurotransmitters for mood
Bone mineral density
And much more

The domino effect of dysfunction can present with symptoms far from its origin.

For example many first responders develop sex hormone disruptions ( low testosterone or female cycle irregularities) this can often be traced back to STRESS!

Why does all of this matter so much for FIRST RESPONDERS ?

I have answered that question in the slides provided below