Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at


Stress has become normalized and as a result so has illness and disease. When going to the doctor and taking more and more pills becomes the prescription of choice our body and mind are going to rebel AND rebel loudly.
Cortisol is a stress hormone. In it’s normal function, cortisol helps us meet life’s challenges by converting proteins into energy, releasing glycogen and counteracting inflammation. For a short time, that’s okay. But as sustained high levels, cortisol gradually tears your body down. Cortisol is one essential we can’t live without. But too much of a good thing is not healthy.
10 Signs You Have Way Too Much Cortisol:
1. You experience backaches and headaches.
When your cortisol levels are high over a long period of time, your adrenal glands start to get depleted. This raises prolactin levels, increasing the body’s sensitivity to pain, such as backaches and muscle aches. 2. You’re not sleeping well.
Cortisol levels are supposed to drop at nighttime, allowing your body to relax and recharge. But if your cortisol levels are too high, you might notice that, even if you’ve been tired all day, you get a second wind around bedtime. 3. Even when you sleep well, you’re still tired.
Over time, high levels of cortisol deplete the adrenal glands and predispose you to chronic fatigue. 4. You are gaining weight, especially around your abdomen, even when you eat well and exercise.
Cortisol tends to make you which around the middle, even when you’re doing everything “right.” 5. You catch colds and other infections easily.
Cortisol deactivates your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms, which means that your immune system, perfectly designed by nature to keep you healthy, goes kaput, leaving you vulnerable to every germ you encounter. 6. You crave unhealthy foods. Cortisol raises your blood sugar, putting you at risk of diabetes. High glucose levels then bump up your insulin levels, which then drop your blood sugar, and all of a sudden, you’re struck with wild cravings for Twinkies. 7. Your sex life is a thing of the past. Consider cortisol the anti-Viagra. When stress hormones are high, libido-inducing hormones like testosterone drop. 8. Your gut acts up. Your gastrointestinal system is very sensitive to stress hormones like cortisol. You might experience nausea, heartburn, abdominal cramps, diarrhea or constipation. 9. You feel anxious. Cortisol and epinephrine can lead to jitters, feelings of panic, even paranoia. 10. You feel blue.
High levels of cortisol suppress production of serotonin, and next thing you know, you’re awash in doom and gloom.