The 4 Major Stress Hormones Explained

The 4 Major Stress Hormones Explained - eBuddy News

The endocrine system related to states and stress responses. It activated when stressful situations appear and the hormones produce alterations in the functioning of the body. So, Stress Hormones are activated when there is stress in us.

The most important stress hormones are cortisol, glucagon, and prolactin. However, it is cortisol that most affects modifying physical and mental functioning. On the other hand, sex hormones are also modified during stress states, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

What is Stress?

What is Stress? - eBuddy News

Stress is a feeling of physical or emotional tension that can come from any situation or thought that causes feelings of anxiety, nervousness or frustration.

When a person suffers from stress, not only do they undergo psychological changes, but they undergo alterations and physical changes. There is a stress of psychological origin, by which an element perceived as stressful by the person leads to changes in physical and organic activity.

In addition, in prolonged situations, hormones related to stress intervene. These hormones are responsible for these physical alterations.

What Happens To Stress Hormones When There Is Stress?

The endocrine system is the one that related to the states and stress responses. This system is activated when stressful situations appear and, as a consequence, accelerates the functioning of the adrenal glands. This results in a chain reaction of the different hormones, with cortisol being the hormone that most alters the functioning of the body.

4 Major Stress Hormones In Your Life

Stress Hormones - eBuddy News

1. Cortisol

Cortisol is the stress hormone par excellence. The body manufactures it in emergency situations to help us face problems and give a quick and effective response. In this way, when we are stressed, the release of cortisol increases.
Under normal conditions, the cells of our body use 90% of the energy in metabolic activities like repair, renewal or formation of new tissues.

However, in situations of stress, our brain sends orders to release larger amounts of cortisol. This hormone is responsible for more glucose in the blood to send more energy to the muscles.
However, when we have stress on a regular basis, cortisol levels triggered continuously.  So we spend a lot of energy to release glucose into the blood, and the functions of recovery, renewal, and creation of new tissues are paralyzed.

The Symptoms Of Having High Levels Of Cortisol Hormone Are:

  • Lack of sense of humor
  • Irritability
  • Permanent tiredness
  • Headaches and muscle cramps
  • Palpitations
  • Lack of appetite
  • Digestive problems

2. Glucagon

Glucagon Hormone - eBuddy News

The hormone called glucagon synthesized in the pancreas. Its main action focuses on the metabolism of carbohydrates. Glucagon causes the liver to release glucose when our body needs it, either because of stress or because blood glucose levels are low. This hormonal imbalance can be dangerous in people who suffer from some type of diabetes.

3. Prolactin

Prolactin Hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. It is responsible for stimulating the milk secretion of women during the period of lactation. Thus, by increasing prolactin levels, the hormone that synthesizes the female sex hormones inhibited. Thus, high levels of stress can cause an alteration of sexual desire, as well as the menstrual cycle.

4. Sex Hormones

Sex Hormones - eBuddy News

When there are long periods of stress, sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, altered their normal functioning.


Testosterone, male sex hormone, is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics, as well as sexual response. When there are high levels of stress, the production of testosterone decreases, since the body prioritizes the release of other hormones such as cortisol, more useful in the face of stress or danger. Therefore, sexual problems such as impotence, erectile dysfunction or lack of sexual desire can appear.


High levels of stress decrease the release of estrogen, disrupting a woman’s normal sexual functioning.


Progesterone produced in the ovaries and is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. When the production of progesterone decreases, symptoms such as extreme fatigue, weight gain, headaches, alterations in mood and lack of sexual desire may appear.


Long periods of stress produce the release of hormones that are capable of producing changes in the functioning of the organism.

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