Human Cortisol Analyte Overview
Also known as Cortisol, Hydrocortisone
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is the primary glucocorticoid produced by the adrenal cortex, commonly known as the stress hormone. It is found either free or bound to corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) in the blood and other bodily fluids. Cortisol is involved in the stress response, glucose homeostasis, inflammation, hypersensitivity, immunosuppression, and disease resistance. Plasma cortisol levels increase in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentrations. Its primary functions are to induce gluconeogenesis to increase blood sugar levels, increase metabolism, support memory formation, and suppress immune function. Chronic elevation of cortisol levels can have many deleterious effects, including mood disorders, sleep dysregulation, increased susceptibility to illness, slower wound healing, damage to the hippocampus, Cushing’s disease, muscle wasting, and metabolic issues. Low levels of cortisol are associated with fatigue, depression, low blood pressure, and inflammation.
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