The Stress Hormone Cortisol Causes Psychological Problems

Volume 7    |    Issue 50

What if I told you that eating disorders could be related to stress? How about depression, chronic fatigue, or even diabetes? Not only is it possible, but new evidence suggests it's likely.

One expert on eating disorders I know of has found that many of the children she counsels develop their eating disorders after a loved one abused them. The stress the abuse causes, pushes the person over the edge and into dysfunctional behavior. While we've known for some time that stress was the cause, we didn't always know the science behind it. We knew cortisol, the stress hormone, was involved. But a new study gives us more insight into what's happening and how we can help correct it.

The researchers in this study found that high concentrations of cortisol in the body affect important DNA processes. This causes an increased risk of long-term psychological problems.

They found that people with Cushing's syndrome seem to have more problems with chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairment. Cushing's syndrome occurs when there's a benign tumor on the pituitary or adrenal gland. This tumor causes the body to substantially overproduce cortisol.

While Cushing's syndrome is the extreme, anyone can undergo such stressful situations that they develop similar symptoms. This can affect DNA methylation to the point where it causes anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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What was really interesting about this study was that even after the researchers removed the tumor causing the overproduction of cortisol, the mental challenges continued. This showed that the cortisol had changed the way genes express themselves.

I've told you in the past that we can change the way many of our genes express themselves. Nutrition, stress, toxins, accidents, and many other factors can impact this expression. In this case, genes that are particularly sensitive to cortisol were the most affected. These changes in the DNA can be passed down to future generations. So it's vital we treat these changes as soon as possible. We often can reverse (or at least mitigate) the damage once it's done simply by treating the cause.

Of course, the researchers disagree with me on this point. Like autoimmune disorders, they consider these changes to be "incurable." This allows the drug companies to have a patient for life, as they treat the symptoms. While DNA methylation and gene expression are complicated, treatment choices don't have to be complicated. In my experience, just changing the way a person thinks can have a dramatic impact on their gene expression. I've seen people change dramatically simply by forgiving their abusers. The stress of unforgiveness and bitterness can cause terrible distortions in the body.

But sometimes this isn't the cause of the stress. Our lives are terribly stressful today, with stress coming from a variety of directions. Protecting your body with nutrition is absolutely vital. And taking nutrients that can help your body deal with stress is a great place to start. If you know stress is affecting your body, then it's quite possible, if not likely, that your adrenals are fatigued. Taking Advanced Adrenal Factor has helped a lot of people overcome the ravages of stress, reduce fatigue, and clear some of the brain fog caused by stress.

Your insider for better health,


Camilla A. M. Glad, Johanna C. Andersson-Assarsson, Peter Berglund, Ragnhildur Bergthorsdottir, Oskar Ragnarsson, Gudmundur Johannsson. Reduced DNA methylation and psychopathology following endogenous hypercortisolism – a genome-wide study. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7: 44445 DOI: 10.1038/srep44445.

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For over 25 years, Editor-In-Chief Steve Kroening has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Frank Shallenberger, Janet Zand, Nan Kathryn Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.

Steve researches breakthrough cures and treatments you won't hear about from mainstream medicine or even other "alternative" writers. He writes in a friendly, easy-to-read style that always gives you the power to guide your own health choices and do more research on your own.