Chronic pain is related to a number of other issues that can go on in the body, and as a result, it’s important for you to figure out how to take care of the other issues that may come up as a result of the chronic pain (or that may be related to the cause of it).
That being said, cortisol is one of the many things that we need to look at when we are considering chronic pain and how it affects the body, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at some things about chronic pain and how cortisol comes into play with it.
What is Cortisol?
Cortisol, in short, is our “stress hormone.” It’s the hormones in our bodies that are produced when we are stressing out, and there are actually a number of different things that it does to our bodies. Many times, doctors will use it in order to determine whether or not a person is depressed, anxious, or dealing with any other number of issues that could be related.
The pituitary gland is the gland where cortisol is created, and if it becomes over stimulated in anyway, then cortisol in the body will be increased and your body will start to have a lot of issues in a lot of different ways. The body will react in a number of ways, including increasing the immune system and making it so that your body feels like it is constantly in overdrive.
Cortisol, when in high amounts, can make people feel incredibly uncomfortable and it can be difficult for them to function normally. As mentioned above, it can be related to mental health issues and bring up a lot of questions that happen in the process. It makes the endocrine system act abnormally and, as you may expect from the name of this article, it can be totally and completely related to chronic pain. Of course, as we are going to explore below, it is debated whether or not the pain is caused by the cortisol or if the cortisol is increased as a result of what is going on with the body’s pain.
How are Chronic Pain and Cortisol Related?
Alright, let’s start with the basic theory about how this whole thing works. The main theory is related to the thought process that the pain is what is causing the cortisol to increase in the body, since that is what most people lean toward. There are some people who believe the increased cortisol, then in turn, makes the pain and suffering worse for the person in question, but we’ll explore that after we take a look at the basic cycle that seems to be going on here.
Let’s start with the pain that you feel. When you’re in pain, your body becomes over stimulated in a lot of ways, and one of the places where it is over stimulated is the pituitary gland. When that happens, the pituitary gland starts to produce a hormone known as the adrenocorticotropic hormone, better known as ACTH.
This hormone makes the adrenal gland go crazy, which also makes it so that the cortisol in your body starts to increase. Since your brain and the pituitary gland are increasing in production and stimulation, there’s more cortisol, and the levels increase. That’s when serum tests show that the cortisol levels seem to be out of control at that point in time.
Of course, there’s one other thing that often comes up here. If there’s still pain going on in the long run, and it’s not treated, the body actually becomes used to the amount of production that is occurring, and it actually starts to chill out some because the body realizes what is going on. That being said, it’s not always the best reaction because the cortisol then starts to flip over to the other extreme, and you instead have levels of cortisol that are below normal.
Now, as we mentioned above, the pain may also be caused by the increased cortisol. Why? As mentioned in the first section, cortisol is related to depression and a number of mental health issues and imbalances. That being said, those sorts of things start to weigh your body down and, in many cases, will make it so that your pain is that much worse.
So as your levels of cortisol increase, your risk for stress and mental health issues also start to increase, and as a result you will likely end up dealing with a lot more pain as a result. It’s one big cycle, and unless you start to take care of some of the issues (whether it be the pain itself or the increased levels of cortisol in the body), you will start to see that your pain and the exhaustion that you feel on a regular basis just continue to get worse and cycle through on a regular basis. It can be really hard to track these sorts of things, but when you start to notice those changes in your body, you will find that it’s easier to take care of the issues that are going on.
So, cortisol and your chronic pain may be related, and because of that, you need to make sure that you are working with a doctor that knows how to deal with the issues that are coming up. By working together with the right medical professionals, you can find a way to deal with your chronic pain that will give you positive results and help you to feel more comfortable in your own skin on a regular basis.
If you suspect that cortisol or other hormones may be related to what is going on with your chronic pain, go ahead and get tested. See if there is anything that you can do in order to help reduce the pain in ways that you may have never considered before, and ask them about how they can help you to reduce these symptoms.