Ghrelin and Cortisol Hormones: Is this why night shift Nurses fight Weight Loss?
Ghrelin is a hormone that primarily controls hunger and satiety. This hormone acts on gastric walls to induce the feeling of hunger, craving or satiety. Ghrelin is very responsive to the levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by adrenal cortex of the kidneys. Costisol control our food/energy reserves in the body, among other negative effects in our daily health. Cortisol surge is primarily induced by mental, physical or emotional stressors like lack of sleep, poor sleep cycle depression, etc
The main reason I am mentioning these two hormones in this article is primarily to inform night time workers that are sleep deprived or have inconsistent sleep cycles. Also, Ghrelin is stimulated by dark/ling state of the day, together with circadian cycle. This means that “ALL” night time workers have abnormal amount of Ghrelin and Cortisol hormone.
The result of this imbalance is : -
- Trunk obesity
- Insulin resistance
- Sugars craving, among other calorie rich foods
- Belly fat primarily “Muffin Tops” or “Love Handles”
- High blood pressure caused by vasoconstriction caused by Cortisol
- Diabetes caused by poor insulin utilization
- Muscle wastage especially on extremities due to breaking down of muscles by cortisol to form fat, stored around the belly.
- Depression. Cortisol disrupts dopamine and serotonin channels
- Low self esteem
- Low mood and morale
- Low sexual drive
- Low testosterone, again caused by cortisol
- Weight gain due to Ghrelin hormone imbalance
- Poor immunity caused by high levels of cortisol