Cortisol and the role it plays dealing with trauma

When we are faced with a traumatic situation our body immediately starts to respond.  The first thing it looks to do is to produce a hormone known as cortisol which comes out of the adrenal glands.  Without cortisol our bodies would not be able to respond as quickly and efficiently as may be necessary when faced with a traumatic situation. Trauma informed training, like that form shows us how and why we are affected by these events.

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Once a stressful situation has been identified by our body  the rush of cortisol enables us to compartmentalise what organs are needed the most.  The levels of glucose that we have in our body increase as the cortisol begins to encourage the Liver, drawing on the glycogen that it stores within it.  This glucose gives us a ready energy source to draw upon should we need it.

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Cortisol also works as an anti-inflammatory agent in case our muscles begin to show signs of wear and tear when running away.  It works with our immune system to suppress any inflammation that may occur.  Whilst it’s doing this it is also able to ensure that non-essential organs start to receive less in the way of resources from our bodies stored energy levels.  The digestive system and saliva glands are some of the first to be taken out of circulation.  Instead this energy is diverted to our heart and lungs.  Cortisol also helps to control the emotional and cognitive processes to protect us from traumatic experiences.

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