The Cortisol Connection: Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health And What You Can Do About It Paperback – Jun 14 2007
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Much of this has been covered better in other books about stress, such as Robert Sapolsky's Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers. What's new about Cortisol Connection is the strong evidence that stress makes you gain weight. It puts on fat and makes your cells resistant to insulin, which puts you at risk for diabetes.
I'm very interested in this, because I'm currently researching a new book called The Politics of Diabetes. (I should also admit that Hunter House, publisher of Cortisol Connection, also published my first book, The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness.) I found Talbott's work helpful.
What I did not find, though, was many good ideas for what to DO about stress. He mentions stress reduction and exercise, but he seems to believe these are not realistic goals for most of us in our fast-paced society. Nearly all his recommendations are for food supplements - vitamins, herbs, minerals, amino acids - over 50 in all. And he really doesn't prioritize among them. I still have no idea where to start with these supplements, which ones have strong supporting evidence and which don't.
I also found his reference list really aggravating. I like to check references, both to learn more and to confirm that the author is playing straight with the facts. Talbott combines all the references for the first five chapters (six pages of references) into one long list, without numbers. So there's no way to tell which reference goes with which paragraph or claim in the book.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Very good discussion of a complex topic that affects every organ system. Will refer to it many times in the future.Published 5 months ago by Igor Shaskin
The dieting ideas were outdated, but the info on how cortisol works was great. Talbott needs to revamp his advice!Published on Aug. 16 2013 by Veronica Lacaille
This book is an excellent introduction into cortisol and the health issues surrounding this hormone. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2011 by David
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 morePublished on May 31 2004
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 morePublished on March 23 2004 by Bonnie Jo Davis
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 morePublished on March 22 2004 by Mermer
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