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Symptoms Of High Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is known as astress hormone because it is released in response to physical or psychological stress. It helps to regulate metabolism, maintain blood pressure, and manage the body‘s response to stress. Cortisol plays a role in many bodily functions, including immunity, metabolism, and regulation of mood and behavior.

Cortisol levels tend to be highest in the morning and lowest in the evening and can be affected by diet, exercise, stress, and other factors. High cortisol levels can lead to a variety of health issues that I’ll highlight below. You can avoid or combat these health issues with proper sleep, exercise, and the use of cortisol managers.  

Some common symptoms of high cortisol levels


Weight gain, especially in the abdomen

Weight gain in the abdomen is bad because it can increase the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Abdominal fat also increases the risk of fatty liver disease and sleep apnea. Additionally, having excess abdominal fat can lead to psychological distress, such as feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. This is perhaps one of the most common symptoms of high cortisol levels


High blood pressure

High blood pressure is a condition that occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries is too high. It can lead to a number of health complications and can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. To treat high blood pressure, doctors may recommend lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, and medications or supplements to reduce or control the blood pressure.


Fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness, exhaustion, or lack of energy. It is a common symptom caused by a variety of medical conditions. This can include anemia, diabetes, depression, sleep deprivation, and chronic illnesses. Treatment for fatigue depends on its underlying cause but may include lifestyle changes, medications, and natural remedies.


Mood swings

Mood swings are a normal part of life, but they can become more intense or frequent when someone is dealing with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.  Symptoms of mood swings can include feelings of sadness, irritability, and anger, as well as physical changes like fatigue, restlessness, and changes in appetite. Mood swings can involve sudden changes in emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that can range from mild to severe.

Treatment for mood swings can include lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. It can also involve therapy or medications to help manage symptoms.


Irritability is a feeling of being easily annoyed, frustrated, or impatient. It is a common symptom of various mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. It can also be caused by physical conditions, such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and hormone imbalances.

In some cases, it can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder. Treatment for irritability depends on the underlying cause.



Headaches can be caused by a variety of things, including stress, dehydration, eye strain, exhaustion, and certain medical conditions. To help reduce headaches, it is important to drink plenty of water, get enough rest and exercise, reduce stress, and practice good posture. If the headache persists, it is important to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Alex Chivers

    Hi Lee, thanks for sharing. I looked at cortisol on my own a couple years back. I think you touched on some good points here that I missed so maybe will have to bookmark this. Also I will have to come back and read more posts as think we are both in similar niche.

    1. Lee Goupil

      Hi, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate the insight and am glad you felt there were some good points about the symptoms of high cortisol levels.

  2. Thimo

    Thanks for the info on high cortisol levels. I think those are an issue for a lot of people nowadays. Having anxiety about their jobs, not having real breaks over the day, watching too much tv, etc. What are your tips to avoid high cortisol levels or get them down again if they are already high?


    1. Lee Goupil

      Hi Thimo, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. As far as avoiding and getting them down, there are a lot of different paths one can take that would fit their lifestyle. Of course, eating healthy and regular exercise will greatly improve an individual’s overall health including lowering cortisol. Also, meditation, walking the dog, and other relaxing activities.

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