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Does Cortisol Equal Belly Fat?

  •   9 min reads
Does Cortisol Equal Belly Fat?

Prednisone (a corticosteroid medication) and long-term supraphysiologic levels of corticosteroids can cause weight gain and fat redistribution [1, 2]. Cushing Syndrome and adrenal cancers also seem to cause significant weight gain [3]. Whereas, short-term corticosteroid use for something like asthma does not look to cause weight gain [4]. However, if these medications are taken for longer durations there may be something there [5].

Therefore, whenever possible, it is likely best to avoid getting hit with high doses of exogenous corticosteroids. Also…

“Corticosteroids are commonly used as anti-inflammatory agents in injured athletes. In these athletes, adrenal insufficiency is observed for up to 14 days in response to a single intra- or periarticular injections of corticosteroids.”-Duclos et al. 2016 [6]

Persistent and inescapable chronic stress, especially in early life, has also been consistently linked to obesity, as well as, increased risk of physical and mental disease [7-10].

But, do physiologic elevations or fluctuations in cortisol correlate or independently cause body composition changes?

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