When the HPA axis fails to regulate the stress response, it produces unhealthy levels of the hormone cortisol. Common symptoms of HPA axis dysfunction include:
Trouble losing weight
Caffeine or carb cravings
Anxiety and depression
Inability to focus
Poor immune function
Odds are, you’ve heard the term burnout. And that’s for a reason. In a recent study, two-thirds of workers experience it. It’s what too much stress can do to the body.
If the HPA axis sends a high stress response, your body will make more cortisol than it needs.
High levels of cortisol boost your heart rate and blood pressure—and tell your cells to turn off other processes so your body can focus on the threat at hand. (Even when there isn’t one.)
In short, too much cortisol can be bad news for your body.