In 1935 it was first discovered that regardless of the type of stress the physical response was the same. The Adrenal glands are stimulated and can be over worked in a relatively short period of time. This came to be known as GAS (general adaptation syndrome), how the body deals with stress on a physical level.
This leads to hormone changes that cause an increase in the sympathetic nervous system activity creating the “flight or fight” response. Releasing the hormone noradrenalin that is then converted to adrenalin that is then turned into cortisol.
This is part of a healthy response to help us deal with life’s challenges.
Things changes once we are exposed to continual stress over a number of days to weeks and beyond. This is when the nervous system can get stuck in sympathetic dominance. The nervous system is unable to relax and the body is continually stimulated until it becomes rundown leaving the person to feel fatigued, reduced concentration and memory fog, feelings of anxiety, digestive upsets, reducing the enzymes released from the digestive system effecting the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients from the food they are eating, the list goes on. As a result of this stress response the Sodium and Potassium levels that control the flow of water in the body are affected, contributing to high blood pressure and an increase in fluid retention.
Perhaps the most obvious sign is how your sleep is affected. Cortisol is a hormone like substance the peaks in the morning waking you up, then the levels reduce from that point onwards. Once the body has been exposed to stress for a period of time instead of the cortisol levels waking you up in the morning they stop you from going to sleep and or will wake you up between 1am to 4am, the longer you are awake shows where your cortisol levels are at.
This in turn affects the body’s ability to process stored fat and energy, so you will start craving simple carbohydrates and sugar. As you can not convert the stored energy into energy that you can use, so you will begin storing it around the belly. This is not able to be shifted no matter what amount of exercise or diet without addressing the cortisol levels in the body. This will also lead to an imbalance in the gut called SIBO, (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) creating an imbalance between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria. Creating bloating, gas, wind, constipation and or Diarrhoea. This effects the bodies ability to draw up serotonin affecting your mood and feelings. All of the above symptoms leading to adrenal exhaustion and or chronic fatigue potentially if left unchecked long term.
The good news that within a short period of time things can be returned to a normal healthy state with the support of medical herbs and nutritional and lifestyle changes.
If you would like to know what you can do to enjoy a good nights sleep and feel calm, relaxed and full of energy once again. Please feel free to contact James to get a personalised program to suit your individual needs.
James Maloney N.D