5 Effects Of High Cortisol Levels

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Skin Problems

Our skin tells a whole story about our health and internal wellbeing. Cortisol causes our skin to get thinner, thus making our veins more visible. This thinning can also cause a lot of dryness, easy bruising, acne, and purple stretch marks. 


Having a hard time falling asleep? High cortisol levels could be the culprit. Cortisol has been shown to have a great impact on the sleep-wake cycle. Regular disturbances in one’s sleep patterns can cause an unhealthy rise in cortisol that stays throughout the day, keeping you tossing and turning at night.

Hirsutism coupled with irregular periods

Most women have light hair on their face and bodies, but high cortisol can change that. The hair in these parts get coarser and darker, similar to the hair on the scalp, as cortisol levels rise. An influx of this hormone in the body can also negatively affect the menstrual cycle and cause irregular periods

Truncal and facial obesity

Cortisol has a high influence on how your body stores fat. A more stressful lifestyle inevitably leads to an increase in cortisol and a change in your fat distribution. A lot more fat is stored in the abdomen and the facial areas as a result. Cortisol manages the way your body processes proteins, fats, and carbs. It also increases your cravings and makes it harder to lose weight.

Anxiety and depression

It is no secret that stress can lead to anxious and depressive thoughts. People who have higher levels of cortisol also have an unhealthy mental state due to continuous stress. For most people, cortisol levels naturally reduce as the day progresses, but hormonal disorders can cause cortisol levels to stay the same. This can lead to not only physical but mental disturbances as well. 

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