QS Study

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is thought to be taken up in a target cell by simple diffusion. It is often called the “stress hormone” because of its correlation to the stress reaction, however, it is much more than just a hormone released during stress.

Cortisol is important in resisting stress –

  • When exposed to any noxious stimuli then there is –

↑ secretion of ACTH →

  • Consequently, rise in circulating glucocorticoids.
  • This rise is essential for life

↑ ACTH →↑ Sympathetic activity

↑ Cortisol →↑ vascular reactivity to catecholamine

  • Mobilization of free fatty acid – Important emergency energy supply.
  • Cortisol inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose from being stored, favoring its immediate use.
  • Prevent further stress-induced change from becoming excessive.
  • Hormone levels return to normal.

Cortisol helps us covenant with stress by closing down redundant functions, like reproduction and the immune system, in order to allow the body to direct all energies toward dealing with the stress at hand. So it causes immediately available both force, energy or for the synthesis of other compounds which are essential for life.