"The Doctor said I wasn't having a Heart Attack - I was Suffering from a Broken Heart"
From personal experience I know a little about trauma and the effects of high cortisol levels. 
During the years of 2012-2014, our family experienced difficult times, we lost my company, gave up our home, and my livelihood, my 15-year old son was struggling after a traumatic event, and we moved to Michigan - to name only a few of the most pressing issues.
These were very stressful times, to say the least.
But I was not prepared for what happened next…
Think of cortisol as nature’s built-in alarm system. It’s your body’s main stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear.
Your adrenal glands -- triangle-shaped organs at the top of your kidneys -- make cortisol.

It’s best known for helping fuel your body’s “fight-or-flight” instinct in a crisis, but cortisol plays an important role in a number of things your body does.
Your hypothalamus and pituitary gland -- both located in your brain -- can sense if your blood contains the right level of cortisol. If the level is too low, your brain adjusts the amount of hormones it makes. Your adrenal glands pick up on these signals. Then, they fine-tune the amount of cortisol they release.

Cortisol receptors -- which are in most cells in your body -- receive and use the hormone in different ways. Your needs will differ from day to day. For instance, when your body is on high alert, cortisol can alter or shut down functions that get in the way.
Stress exposure triggers a cascade of events in HPA activity with the end product being the release of the glucocorticoid hormone cortisolCortisol is generally elevated following trauma exposure.
What happens if I have too much cortisol?
Too much cortisol over a prolonged period of time can lead to a condition called Cushing's syndrome.
This can be caused by a wide range of factors, such as a tumour that produces adrenocorticotropic hormone (and therefore increases cortisol secretion), or taking certain types of drugs.
Too much cortisol symptoms include:

  • Rapid weight gain mainly in the face, chest and abdomen contrasted with slender arms and legs

  • A flushed and round face

  • High blood pressure

  • Osteoporosis

  • Skin changes (bruises and purple stretch marks)

  • Muscle weakness

  • Mood swings, which show as anxiety, depression or irritability

  • Increased thirst and frequency of urination

Learn more about Cortisol and Trauma - click here
Hello and thanks for being here! 
I have dedicated my life and my work to understanding trauma, to supporting those who have struggled with its often debilitating effects and to helping everyone – including myself find a way to make peace with our past, to move forward by making meaning out of even our most traumatic experiences.
Let me introduce my good friend, Jan, our dedicated business partner, podcast interview host, writer and editor
We have been friends for 25 years. We have worked together professionally in business. 
And we have worked together as volunteers, in our role as nationally certified mental health educators. ​
Check out our Archived Blog Posts
Diana's eBook is about hope, transformation, and most of all, courage.
"It tells the story of my son and his journey from deep despair during years of being bullied to thriving beyond anything we could have imagined.
It conveys the heartache, and sacrifices that were made to save his life, and the determination, fearlessness, and love we needed to summon to create a space for his healing." - Diana Kendros
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Diana and Jan
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