Stress Hormone

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Stress Hormone
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 8:30am

News flying around the Internet right now is about children of bipolar parents having more stress hormone, Cortisol and that maybe it is contributing to getting "bipolar" --

Children who have at least one bipolar parent respond to everyday stress with higher levels of cortisol than the average child, according to a new international study led by Concordia University.* Researchers suggest that the stress hormone cortisol may be a key player in bipolar disorder. The findings are the first to demonstrate that cortisol may be a key player in bipolar disorder.

* The study is published in Psychological Medicine.

Funny they are saying "first to demonstrate" since I have been reading about the cortisol-stress-mental-illness connection for at least 5 years.

Anyway, I doi not have "bipolar" disorder but it runs in my family, and my kids were diagnosed with it. The weird thing is one had such low cortisol the doctors were considering augmenting it, and the other had totally normal. When my level is tested, mine is low as well, although I don't seem to have any adverse effects from low cortisol, and the doctors always tell me that it is "good."

I then wonder if maybe cortisol level will be able to distinguish between TYPES of "bipolar disorder" - after all, the bipolar/schizophrenia meds didn't help my kids as would be expected, but that was all the psychiatric system had to offer us - that and therapy.Of course, it was treatments other than psych meds that most helped my kids. If the meds had been "THE" answer, I guess I wouldn't be on the boards today - they would have taken their meds and we would have lived happily ever after.

www. It's Not Mental .com

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Fri, 05-13-2011 - 3:30pm
That is interesting, I was scanning some news articles this morning and ran across one talking about stress and infertility, and some of the comments from the readers were about cortisol levels and how that could be part of the problem. It sounds like they need to continue the research and find out all the ways cortisol levels affect a person.