Cortisol is a hormone that is important throughout the body to maintain blood pressure, blood sugar, metabolism, and respond to infections and stress.. Your . Cortisol is a potent glucocorticoid released from the adrenal cortex and affects the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also has a significant impact on glucose serum levels. Cortisol levels normally rise and fall during the day; this is called the diurnal variation.
Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. When assessed with a typical radioimmunoassay (the most commonly used method), cortisol levels range from about 10 to 20 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dl) in the early morning (within one hour of the usual time of awakening), from 3 to 10 ug/dl at 4 PM, and are usually less than 5 ug/dl after the usual bedtime, but there is a great deal of variation.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Whenever you experience something your body perceives as a threat, like a large dog barking at you, a chemical known as. Cortisol is a naturally-occurring steroid hormone that plays a key role in the body's stress response. 1 While it is often called "the stress hormone" for its best-known role, it also contributes to many of the body's processes. It's secreted by the adrenal glands and involved in the regulation of the following functions and more.