Muscle and bone health peaks around the age of twenty-five. That’s when the hormone responsible for maintaining them peaks. The subsequent decline–widely studied–is part of the natural aging process.
The Massachusetts Male Aging Study looked at the effect of aging on key hormones in human endocrine system. This data shows a decline of approximately 1.2% per year for the hormone responsible for maintaining muscle and bone health. Data from The The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1991.
Testosterone levels by age in healthy men.
Source: Results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study: Age, Disease, and Changing Sex Hormone Health in Middle-Aged Men.
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for maintaining muscle and bone health. It varies during the day–high in the morning and gradually but slowly declining during the day. However, the rate of decline over age is more important since that affects overall health. Other hormones in the endocrine system also decline, but testosterone has been widely studied as it is directly linked to maintaining bone and muscles. Regular exercise, especially weight training, can help maintain the body’s natural decline.
Noticed people still fidgeting after they finished speaking? That’s because the stress hormone build up doesn’t peak until after 30 minutes of starting out. As soon as someone is asked to speak in public, or perform a stressful task, the body starts fighting this trigger by releasing cortisol, the ‘fight or flight’ stress hormone. It takes about 30 minutes for it to rise even if the task is done. That’s why the wringing of hands and sweating even after the speaker sits down.
Have you ever tried noticing your behavior in a stressful event?
Acute Stressors and Cortisol Responses – Hormone Health
Source: Data from Psychological Bulletin, 2004.
Cortisol is the stress hormone released when a stress stimulant is faced by the body. It is good as long as it helps fight off the stress triggers. In fact, high levels in the morning help in handling the daily chores when we are most energetic. The levels drop throughout the day as cortisol has a well defined 24-hour circadian rhythm. However, chronic stress results in chronically elevated levels which are detrimental to health as cortisol breaks down muscles and bones, and accumulates fat in the body.
Depending on what task we are performing, the stress hormone release can vary significantly. For a passive task, e.g., watching a movie, the body has no stress triggers. On the other hand high stress roles, e.g., when giving an oral exam where one has to speak in front of audience for a short time and the outcome depends on quality of speech, a large rise in cortisol is observed. Surprisingly, when people enjoy doing what they like, the stress hormone levels are the lowest.
This is clear evidence why difficult jobs make people uncomfortable. There are physiological changes in the body depending on psychological stressors.
Acute stressors and their cortisol responses – stress levels vary by nature of task.
Source: Data from Psychological Bulletin, 2004.
Social evaluation threat is present everywhere. How many people are watching us perform the task changes the stress levels. Our body responds by raising in stress hormone, cortisol, levels depending on how many people are watching. The more people staring at us, the higher the stress.
Have you felt the fear of that large stage?
A general enhancement of autonomic and cortisol responses during social evaluative threat.
Source: Published in Psychosom Med. 2009 Oct, Vol. 71(8), pages 877–885.
Feedback and evaluation are part of life. When we are being judged, the whole body responds. A verbal evaluation is relatively easy to assess, but how about non-verbal feedback? This study from Wisconsin looks at rise in stress hormones in response to three distinct smiles. The ‘dominance’ smile shows a strong stress hormone uptick compared to ‘affiliation’ or ‘reward’ smiles and the stress lingers on.
When given a choice of non-verbal cues, what will you pick?
Functionally distinct smiles elicit different physiological responses in an evaluative context.
Source: Scientific Reports by Nature, published, Feb 2018.
The fear of public speaking ranks even higher than fear of death. Combine that with solving an arithmetic problem and it can raise stress levels quickly. This study shows how the stress hormone, cortisol, rises when these two tasks are combined. And women do much better than man! Data from 1992 classic paper, Psychosomatic Medicine.
Stress is a natural response when people are introduced to a difficult task. How do you tell what’s happening in the body though? Cortisol hormone measurement using a saliva sample can tell exactly how the stress levels are rising. This classic study tells that stress levels rise up to 4-times in men. Women also see the rise, but they do better than men suggesting they are better able to handle the pressure.Stress-vs-Cortisol.png
Consistent Sex Differences in Cortisol Responses to Psychological Stress.
Source: Consistent Sex Differences in Cortisol Responses to Psychological Stress by Kirschbaum, Wüst & Hellhammer in Psychosom Med., 1992, Vol. 54(6), pages 648-57.
The runner’s high, a feeling of satisfaction on completion, has a strong adrenal response. The stress hormone, cortisol, rises continuously during the race peaking around 30 minutes after the race. The muscle and bone building hormone, testosterone, levels off soon after starting. Both these hormones peak early in the morning but on the day of marathon the peaks shift dramatically. Data from the classic 1989 paper from British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Salivary steroids and psychometric parameters in male marathon runners.
Source: Salivary steroids and psychometric parameters in male marathon runners by Harris et. al. in British Journal of Sports Medicine 1989;23:89-93.
Cortisol is the fight or flight stress hormone. High levels in the morning help in handling the daily chores when we are most energetic. The levels drop throughout the day as cortisol has a well defined 24-hour circadian rhythm. However, chronic stress results in chronically elevated levels which are detrimental to health as cortisol breaks down muscles and bones, and accumulates fat in the body.
Testosterone is the male hormone found in both men and women. It is critical for building muscles and bones. Testosterone peaks around the age of 25 years and levels drop about 1% per year afterwards. A right balance of testosterone and cortisol is critical for our health.
RxHomeTest.com can help you test your cortisol hormones from the comfort of home without going to a doctor. Simply order a 24 hour Cortisol 4x Saliva Test or basic AM-PM cortisol test. You can also measure testosterone levels using a home testosterone test kit. Our saliva based kits are reliable, convenient, and do not require any blood at all.
Spectrum of thyroid hormone imbalance. Data for 563,700 thyroid blood tests in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000-2009 showed 4.07% new cases of sub-optimal thyroid function. That’s one in every 25 people! Women are more susceptible (at 61%) than men with a median age (47.7 years), almost two years younger than men (49.8 years).
Thyroid Hormone Health -thyroid dysfunction rate in a study of 563,700 people from Denmark
RxHomeTest.com can help you test your thyroid hormones from the comfort of home without going to a doctor using our At Home Thyroid Test. The test measures all four key markers: TSH, fT3, fT4, and the antithyroid antibodies (TPO) for potential autoimmune disease.