Does Coffee Trigger Cortisol Release?

coffee-prescription

 

Cortisol is the infamous hormone you release when you’re stressed. In high doses it inhibits brain function, slows metabolism, breaks down muscle, and increases blood pressure. Have you ever felt panicked before a public speech and forgotten everything you were going to say? That’s what a big bump in cortisol feels like. And if you’re looking for stress relief, lowering cortisol helps.

Cortisol isn’t all bad, though. In fact, it’s necessary for you to function. Cortisol peaks in the morning, helping to wake you up, and it can be a useful as an indicator of strain, letting you know when to slow down or stop something that’s stressing you out. Cortisol also decreases inflammation – that’s part of the reason your body releases it in response to, for example, a workout that tears your muscle tissue.

Low cortisol is an issue, too. Insufficient cortisol can leave you feeling tired, emotional, and anxious. As long as you avoid chronically elevated or depleted cortisol you can make the little hormone work to your advantage.

A common argument against drinking coffee is that it triggers cortisol release, but (forgive us for getting nitpicky) that may not be true. Caffeine definitely triggers cortisol release. In fact, the increase in cortisol is part of the reason caffeine makes you feel more alert.

Remember a few paragraphs ago, when we were talking about how you build a tolerance to some of caffeine’s effects but not others? Cortisol release is one of the effects to which you build tolerance. If you only take caffeine now and then, it causes a big boost in cortisol. But if you get caffeine daily (by drinking coffee every morning, for example) your body tempers the cortisol response. You still release cortisol, but not enough to worry about unless your cortisol is already out of whack.

Does coffee itself (separate from caffeine) cause cortisol release? Mycotoxins do, at least in mice, and they cause inflammation (a common trigger of cortisol release) in humans. It’s difficult to say whether mold-free coffee increases cortisol.

Regardless, studies suggest that cortisol release from caffeine is mild if you drink it daily. For most of us, that little bump shouldn’t be a problem.

From https://www.yahoo.com/health/caffeine-and-cortisol-does-coffee-1276507994071094.html

Cushing’s Awareness Challenge, Day Five

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The picture above is from a 2007 Cushing’s meeting in Columbus, OH when we all gathered around my rented yellow Cushie Cruiser.  There are more pictures from that year at Columbus, OH 2007

As always, it was great to get together with other Cushies.

Today, April 5, 2014 there was a local Cushie meeting in Northern Virginia.  This time, I drove the bright blue (Pacific Coast Highway blue in Chrysler parlance) Cushie Cruiser.

cushie-car

 

Some of the Cushies were old friends, some were new ones but it’s always wonderful to get together, to share stories, to not feel so alone with this disease.

If you can, go to local meetings, get out for coffee, connect somehow with others.

You’ll be glad you did!

maryo colorful zebra

40 Days of Thankfulness: Day Fourteen

Today, and every day, I am thankful for coffee.  Without it, I would have a daily headache and I’d have even less energy than I have now.

I first started drinking coffee when I had my first job as a waitress at a Hayes-Bickford in Boston, MA.  This was a summer job.  A bunch of my college friends had gotten an apartment near Fenway Park in Boston and most of us were waitresses in various places.  Hayes-Bickford was marginally better than a dive.

I was fortunate that I was the youngest waitress at that Hayes-Bickford, so I got the best tips. This was a l-o-n-g time ago – I’d get out of work sometime after midnight, take the Boston subway alone to our apartment, with an apron full of my tips, mostly in jangly change.  That could never happen any more!  Even without the money, I still wouldn’t wander around the Boston Common area of Boston alone after midnight.

The food at HB wasn’t so great.  Sometimes, a patron would order some type of meat and the chef would say we were out of it, to put gravy on whatever-we-had and tell the diner that it was what he had ordered.  We were usually out of a lot of things.

But the coffee was good and I learned to drink it, lots of it, and black, something I still do today.  If I could do the IV thing, I would!

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