A steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex as part of the body's response to stress that promotes the synthesis and storage of glucose. Cortisol is the primary glucocorticoid and regulates glucose metabolism and the body's response to stress. During times of stress, cortisol levels increase and accelerate the breakdown of proteins to provide the fuel to maintain body functions. This tearing-down needs to be balanced with periods of rebuilding to maintain good health.