Day-long cortisol level consistency may affect your health

day long cortisol level consistency may affect your health

When remains at a constant level throughout the day, stress hormone, Cortisol, could lead to some serious health issues like inflammation, obesity and cancer, reported in a recent research.

In general, the level of the cortisol varies throughout day.

Emma Adam, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University said, “Cortisol is naturally high in the morning to help perk you up, and it decreases into the evening.”

At the University news release, Adam said, “The loss of this cycle – or the lack of variation of cortisol – is what is associated with negative health outcomes in our study.”
Variable cortisol level is a result of chronic stress according to the researchers. They named this condition, “stress-related circadian dysregulation.”


The study only reported the association between the less variable cortisol level and impaired health. The research was not aimed at finding the cause and effect relationship.
The study performed a review of data collected from 80 previous studies. The researchers focused at 12 health problems and finally, reported that out of 12, 10 diseases are associated with the reduction in the variation of the cortisol levels.

Adam said, “While inflammation and the immune system dysfunction had the strongest associations, fatigue, cancer, depression, and obesity were all worse in people who had less variation in their cortisol.”

The study concluded that bringing variation in the levels of cortisol hormone throughout the day may help in improving the health conditions of patients.
One of the co-researcher stated, “It’s the righting of rhythms that are important, more so than the righting of levels.”

Adam and her team also suggested that by changing the lifestyle like doing regular workouts and taking sufficient amount of sleep, people can restore their daily cortisol rhythms.

The result of the study was first published in the journal, Psychoneuroendocrinology.