The stress? Increase with heat

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Elia Tabuenca García
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A new study shows higher levels of stress hormones in the blood in the summer months.

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The heat comes and the stress squirts too. The fault of cortisol, which tends to change over the course of the day and depending on our mood, but also follows the trend of the seasons and would increase in the hottest period of the year. In short, if we are stressed in the summer, it is not only a matter of heat but also of hormones.

To say this are the Polish researchers of the University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, who in a new study have shown that in the summer months there are higher levels of stress hormones in the blood.

If it is true, therefore, that a high cortisol value can be due both to pathological causes, such as an excessive functioning of the thyroid gland, and to non-pathological causes, such as too demanding sports activity or diets rich in carbohydrates, also the excessive heat does its part making us feel more nervous.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland and carried by the blood. In other words, it is a hormone produced by the adrenal fasciculate cells in response to the pituitary hormone ACTH, which is therefore the precursor of cortisol. Its production increases if you are subjected to psycho-physical stress and not only.

To come to the conclusion that Cortisol levels also vary with the seasons, the scholars surveyed a group of medical students on two separate days in the winter and two days in the summer.

Every two hours they took saliva samples during each testing period, a full 24-hour cycle, to measure cortisol levels and markers of inflammation. Participants also carried out a questionnaire on lifestyle, sleep habits, type of diet followed and physical activity levels. When finished, the researchers found that cortisol levels were highest when the tests were performed in the summer.

Levels of inflammation (cortisol actually also helps reduce inflammation and is important for maintaining overall health), on the other hand, did not change significantly between seasons.
As temperatures rise, therefore, it can raise cortisol levels and increase our stress.

How then? As always, in this case too the solutions are found at the table: eating healthy is the first essential rule. What is recommended is to consume small but frequent meals in terms of calories, to have a hearty breakfast and to favor complex carbohydrates such as oats, sugar-free cereals, wholemeal flours and derivatives. If necessary, also eliminate the caffeine, sleep more and, if you do sports, do not overdo it!

Read also:

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Germana Carillo

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