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The Cortisol Connection: Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health — And What You Can Do About It [Paperback]

Shawn Talbott Ph.D. FACSM , Ph.D. William Kraemer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 14 2007
The hormone cortisol, activated by the fight-or-flight (stress) response, is emerging as a major culprit in a variety of health problems. The Cortisol Connection explores the documented relationship between elevated levels of this hormone, chronic stress, and such health conditions as obesity, depression, suppressed immune system, osteoporosis, and hypertension. This new edition describes the results of the latest research about the connection between cortisol and HSD, and cortisol and testosterone.

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The Cortisol Connection: Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health — And What You Can Do About It + Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome + Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue: How to Restore Hormonal Balance and Feel Renewed, Energized, and Stress Free
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"Stress is killing us," warns Talbott, and "humans are not zebras": unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, our fight-or-flight reactions to physical and emotional disturbances can lead to prolonged, chronic stress and elevated levels of cortisol. Over the long term, excessive amounts of this "primary stress hormone" can "kill your sex drive, shrink your brain, squelch your immune system, and generally make you feel terrible." While Talbott freely admits that nearly as many ways to cope with stress exist as events and situations that cause it, his recommended solution to alleviating tension and achieving balanced cortisol levels is the SENSE program. These five principles-Stress management, Exercise, Nutrition, Supplements and Evaluation-aren't necessarily groundbreaking, but they're undoubtedly sensible. Talbott is a nutritionist, and thus the book's coverage of vitamins, minerals and adaptogens (general anti-stress supplements) is especially comprehensive, and includes important recommendations for safety and dosage levels. With features including a "Stress Self-Test," daily food plans and a guide to additional stress management resources, the text is organized for both quick reference use as well as for readers, especially health care workers, interested in conducting a more detailed exploration.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Cortisol. Who knew! Too little, or none.. and you have Addison's Disease and cannot handle stress without medication. Too much? Weight gain, IBS, joint pain, hair loss, and more.

This book not only outlines the problems caused by stress, which causes too much cortisol to be created by the body, but how to cope with it. Not only will you be informed about what and how much damage can be done to the body by too much stress/cortisol, but there are recommendations on how to change it. Nutrition, supplements to take or not to take? And of course a healthy diet and exercise are the among the answers.

This is not a gloom and doom book by any means. This is a book that explains a problem, and gives simple and often enjoyable approaches to controlling stress and the overproduction of this hormone. Read a trashy novel, soak in a hot tub, give yourself days off each week..hey, I can do that!

Often books that you think you should read to learn something you feel that you should know about are dry and dull and agonizing to get through. This one has bits of humor ( humans are not zebras!) and it presents information in such a clear and simple way that I was able to zip right through the pages, and make my way through it in 2 sittings.

Even though I have read it cover to cover, you can be sure that this is one that will spend a long time on my nightstand. I want it to be available for quick reference and reminders of what I should be doing and looking for. Not just a good and informative read, but by all means, a keeper! - Kathleen Wagner, LibraryThing Early Reviewer

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expertly Researched and Written June 8 2003
As a clinical psychologist, I've studied the subject of cortisol and how it affects weight loss and multiple other health-related aspects. Beyond a doubt, this is the definitive work on the subject. Dr. Talbott is ahead of the curve with his research and perspective. If, as a consumer, you are interested in the "facts" about cortisol and how it can help you to lose weight and maintain good health, this book is mandatory reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Book Feb. 4 2003
This is one of the most helpful books I have ever read. The author has the ability to explain cortisol and the risks of a chronically elevated cortisol level in layman's terms. Anyone who is struggling with stress, fatigue, or a problematic appetite must read this book. If you follow the book's advice, you will experience an amazing improvement in your quality of life.
The book is an informative resource on dozens of vitamins, minerals, and supplements. I also liked the helpful daily food plans in the appendix. But, I think the most important aspects of the book is the author's overall message: (1) chronically elevated cortisol levels result in numerous health and "enjoyment of life" problems, and could ultimately set the stage for disease; (2) chronically elevated cortisol levels and associated problems are completely avoidable with awareness and behavioral changes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cutting-Edge Theory Backed by Real Science March 5 2003
As a researcher and author in the field of alternative health, I found this book is a leader in proposing and substantiating an important theory of disease and healing. Stress- it is almost impossible to escape in our busy lifestyles, and finally the firm link to how it is degrading our health has been revealed. Dr. Talbott has gift for pulling together hard science and condensing it into the bigger picture that is easy and fun to read. I recommend it for anyone who is interested in health, stress, and the mind/body connection. This book is responsible for a truely groundbreaking theory that will spawn much discussion among health-care professionals and enthusiasts alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
As an owner of a metabolism and body composition lab, I have seen some people who just can't seem to get results equal to the efforts put forth. After chalking my own slow metabolism up to genetics, I had a major blood panel and hormone panel done. I found that my Cortisol level was very high and with some research I found this book. Wow! What an eye opener. Dr. Talbot explains exactly why stress will defeat your efforts with fat loss and even why your energy levels are zapped. He also has a sensible plan to manage it and get your body and health back on track.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and well writen book April 20 2004
My wife and I have two children under the age of three, we both work, eat mostly vegetarian and organic foods, and we exercise regularly, so you'd think we have a healthy lifestyle. Wrong. You know how much energy it takes just to find and pay for healthy foods and quality exercise venues for us and our children? After running across The Cortisol Connection, I discovered why we are so routinely frazzled. Dr. Talbott touches a topic that makes so much sense and was completely unknown to us. He offers detailed and definitive explanations as to why our stress levels are so high and how to combat them. I can definitely say that after utilizing some of his advice and supplement suggestions, we feel far less "stressed out" than we used to be. My wife has broken free of her afternoon sugar craving and has lost the 5-10 lbs of stubborn post-pregnancy chub. I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels stressed out by our "modern" way of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book! Jan. 20 2003
GREAT BOOK! The Cortisol Connection can do a great deal to help you understand WHY cortisol-control is good for your long-term health, but also HOW to approach cortisol-control using diet and lifestyle. It makes a complicated topic easy to understand. As a nutritionist, I know that people who suffer from chronic stress often are also suffering from lifestyle related diseases (obseity, diabetes, hypertension, depession, and osteoporosis) which now may be linked to the detrimental effects of unhealthy cortisol levels. The Cortisol Connection gives details on diets, exercise and supplements that have been shown to control cortisol levels and promote optimal health (Dr. Talbott's SENSE program). If you have stress, you need this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for stressed out Americans Jan. 14 2003
This book is an essential tool in helping people understand how stress can adversely effect their health. The author gives you a simple understanding of the negative effects of stress and cortisol. Most importantly he then gives you a practical and simple way to combat those negative effects. The thing I like most about the book is its ability to explain the very complex cortisol problems stress creates with simple terms and examples. I personally didn't think stress was a big factor in my life. However, I found myself saying, "that's why that happens!" or, "Wow, I better change that bad habit!" over and over again while reading the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding! Feb. 21 2003
i've been ill for quite a while with extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, fuzzy thinking, etc. i learned from reading this book that i have syndrome x (insulin resistance). i am gradually implementing the recommendations outlined in the book and for the first time in a long while i feel like i am heading back toward healing and wholeness again - i am beginning to feel better!
you will find this book easy to read with practical advice about diet, exercise and food supplements. it's really helping me to turn my physical life around.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written & easy to understand
Very helpful. Well written & easy to understand.
Published 20 days ago by GV
2.0 out of 5 stars The idea is valid, mostly
The dieting ideas were outdated, but the info on how cortisol works was great. Talbott needs to revamp his advice!
Published 13 months ago by Veronica Lacaille
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
This book is an excellent introduction into cortisol and the health issues surrounding this hormone. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2011 by David
5.0 out of 5 stars So, now what do I do????
I knew that stress killed, but makes you fat too! Ouch! This book now shares space with all the mind/body/spirit books I use in counseling. Read more
Published on May 31 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent easy to read book on a critical topic.
I was suprised to find The Cortisol Connection a very easy to read book given the technical nature of the topic. The author, Dr. Read more
Published on March 23 2004 by Bonnie Jo Davis
1.0 out of 5 stars why recommend a brand name?
I have not read this book - my comment is concerning one of the other reviews that states he recommends 'Cortislim.' Why does the Dr. Read more
Published on March 22 2004 by Nana Moon
3.0 out of 5 stars Good stress info -- but all solutions are food supplements
Stress is bad for you. We all knew that, but Shawn Talbott explains some of the biochemistry of stress in layman's terms. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004 by David Spero
5.0 out of 5 stars For people who are stressed and can't lose weight
This book is essential for anyone who is gaining weight and stressed and but alot of us do not realize how stress makes us fat. This book is me. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2004 by Deb
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