Dr. Legato shares what cortisol is and how the hormone affects women after an argument.
Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands which is meant from an evolutionary point of view to calm people and to bring them back to a sense of security and peace after a tremendous shock or an argument.
Men’s cortisol levels go up for about an hour after an argument, to give you a good example, and it leaves them, and then they decline and go back to normal. It leaves them with a sense of optimism, of feeling enervated and powerful, and they forget the argument and feel actually paradoxically a little bit better for having been in an argument which is finished.
Women, on the other hand, have cortisol levels that are sustained for almost 24 hours, and the continuous production of this hormone has a paradoxical effect in that it makes women sleepless, anxious, depresses their immune system, and may even raise their blood sugar.
So, cortisol in women lasts longer after a stress and produces after a while more unpleasant effects than is the case for men.
About Dr. Legato:
Dr. Marianne J. Legato is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer and specialist in women's health. She is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and the Founder and Director of the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Legato founded the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia University in 1997. It is the first collaboration between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender. Dr. Legato has received many awards for her leadership role in women's health.
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