Cortisol - the body's stress hormone

Cortisol is a steroid hormone, synthesised from cholesterol in the adrenal glands. It has many functions in the human body, such as mediating the stress response, regulating metabolism, the inflammatory response, and immune function.

Stress is a natural part of life, but it is the long-term exposure to stress that can lead to:-

# Anxiety

# Depression

# Digestive problems

# Diabetes

# Headaches

# Heart disease

# Sleep problems

# Obesity

# Memory and concentration impairment

It is the way you react to stressful situations which is important, and there are various stress management strategies, which include:-

# Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep

# Consider relaxation techniques (yoga, breathing, massage, meditation)

# Find time for hobbies such as reading or listening to music

# Counselling

Try and identify the triggers to your stress, then you can hopefully work out ways to manage these factors in giving you a pathway for better health.