Cortisol is of referred to as the stress hormone. It helps regulate many of our bodies responses to stressors. (R). Under high or prolonged stress, cortisol can first become high (helped by doing aerobic exercise, problem solving, stress management and standard psychological therapies like CBT), but then become depleted and low. Cortisol when low  can cause very severe fatigue, pain and hypersensitivities (R)and lots of “non specific symptoms”.   People with low cortisol, often find exercise (especially aerobic) worsens symptoms (R). This also seems to apply to standard psychological interventions like CBT (R) aggravate their symptoms. Doctors have tests that measure cortisol levels, but often these are not standardly done.  1 in 3 people with CFS or PTSD have low cortisol.   (R)


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