What are the primary health risks of prolonged stress levels?
While stress is inevitable, there are many reasons why patients should take great care to control it and keep it in check. Our Board-Certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Alexander Shapsis, of Atlantic Gastroenterology of Brooklyn, New York, can educate patients on stress hormone imbalances and how cortisol and the body’s natural stress response can cause weight gain. The production of cortisol is just one of the many health risks of stress.
What is cortisol?
Cortisol is best described as a hormone produced by your adrenal glands and is best known as the primary stress hormone. When stressful situations occur, the body increases cortisol to boost the nervous system’s automatic “fight or flight” response. Cortisol is a positive hormone that ensures your body is on high alert and prepared to react when problems arise. However, chronic stress leads to long-term cortisol secretions, which can cause dysfunction and inflammation.
High levels of cortisol often cause changes in body composition and contribute to the development of certain medical issues. This includes but is not specifically limited to weight gain. For those with diabetes, heightened cortisol levels can also result in gluconeogenesis, which can cause insulin resistance–a serious problem for patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or who are obese.
Working with a gastroenterologist is one way to determine if you have heightened cortisol levels and how to manage stress levels to reduce the risk of increased health problems. Being in a state of high stress for extended periods is never a good thing for your health and body and can contribute to other issues, such as depression and anxiety. By working with a medical professional, you can learn ways to manage your stress to decrease cortisol production and live a healthier lifestyle with more positive energy and experiences!
Are you ready to address chronic stress and weight gain once and for all?
Dr. Alexander Shapsis is here to assist at his two convenient locations in Brooklyn, including Ocean Parkway and Court Street offices.
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