How are you handling your Stress?
Hans Selye – ‘the father of stress research,’ developed the theory that stress is a major cause of disease because chronic stress causes long-term chemical changes.
Viewing the Body from the Outside to the Inside, you can view the ravages of what Stress does to the body.
Thank you Tony for bringing up the word STRESS. When I posed the question “What Causes Unwanted Calcium Deposits” I received from everyone and I thank you, the physiology and biochemistry of what takes place within the body when it goes haywire. I was looking for the Cause that affects all disease process’ and that is Stress. There is the genetic issue toward any disease but if we look at today’s society world-wide – wars, poverty, homelessness, the standard of living, joblessness, the worry of your situation, the environments lived in, the food and water we eat and drink, and the day to day life issues of family life – Stress is the major factor that Causes the changes in our biochemistry that can lead to a disease process.
How you handle Stress depends on how your body will survive with less aches and pains or a disease process and grow old gracefully. There is only so much adaptive energy to deal with stress and the more exposure to the stressor’s, the body will begin to decline.
“Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older.” ~ Hans Selye
Looking at the three stages of stress, it can show us what happens when we allow stress to overcome us:
Stage 1: The Alarm Stage of Stress
The Fight and Flight phase. The danger to deal with and prepare for the threat.
Activation of the HPA axis, the nervous system (SNS) and the adrenal glands take place. During this phase the main stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, is released to provide instant energy.
Too much adrenaline results in a surge of blood pressure that can damage blood vessels of the heart and brain – a risk factor in heart attack and stroke.
The excess production of the cortisol hormone can cause damage to cells and muscle tissues. Stress related disorders and disease from cortisol include cardiovascular conditions, stroke, gastric ulcers, and high blood sugar levels.
At this stage everything is working as it should – you have a stressful event, your body alarms you with a sudden jolt of hormonal changes, and you are now immediately equipped with enough energy to handle it.
Stage 2: The Resistance Stage of Stress
Possibly being able to handle the stress and resolve it. Restoring homeostasis and balance with a period of recovery for repair and renewal of energy.
Stress hormone levels may return to normal but you may have reduced defenses and adaptive energy left. If a stressful condition persists, your body adapts by a continued effort in resistance and remains in a state of arousal.
If you are not able to handle the stress, then problems begin to manifest when you find yourself repeating this process too often with little or no recovery. Ultimately this moves you into the stage 3 and the final stage of stress.
Stage 3: Exhaustion Stage of Stress
As the patterns of Stress continue and evolve, it has become long standing in your body. The body’s ability to resist is lost because its adaptation energy supply is gone. Often referred to as overload, burnout, adrenal fatigue, mal-adaptation or dysfunction – Here is where stress levels go up and stay up! Many mineral balances change and become unstable and may take years to undo. Toxic metals emerge as a factor.
The adaptation process is over and not surprisingly; this stage of the general adaptation syndrome is the most hazardous to your health. This is where a disease process can begin to surface.
Chronic stress can damage nerve cells in tissues and organs. Particularly vulnerable is the hippocampus section of the brain. Thinking and memory are likely to become impaired, with tendency toward anxiety and depression.
There can also be adverse function of the autonomic nervous system that contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory diseases, emotional and mental dysfunction, and other stress related illness.
Our lifestyles can be hectic but if you choose to reduce your stress by acknowledging what is worthy in your life, and honoring your being, you would choose to look at life differently. Choose things that make you happy, joyful, bring laughter (and it is the best medicine ask Patch Adams) into your daily life, don’t take things so seriously or for granted, meditate, exercise, put only healthy things into your body, go for a walk, hug a tree, do Tai Chi, say hi to people, embrace being here and Smile.
Stress kills and it deteriorates the body. You only live once so live it to the fullest. Don’t put off things, live in the moment!
I want to thank all who have offered such insightful information into the workings of the biochemistry of the body. It has been so interesting and so appreciated. I love these chat rooms, it is better than school. There is a wealth of information in so many minds that are here. Please keep it coming. Thank you Fred.. you are amazing. Namaste Kate
Resource: Hans Selye’s – General Adaptation Syndrome