The Stress Cycle
Ongoing stress affects how the body produces hormones.
THE ALARM STAGE: The nervous system responds to stressors within seconds to shift the body into a fight or flight mode. Stress hormones are released from the adrenal glands to release sugar into the bloodstream.
THE RESISTANCE STAGE: Adaptation to sustained stress alters energy metabolism. Blood sugar levels are raised, muscle protein is broken down, and cortisol levels become elevated. The body becomes less sensitive to cortisol, and so more cortisol is produced. This leads to increases in insulin production, and we can become insulin resistant. More muscle protein is broken down and blood lipids increase, leading to fat accumulation around the middle. This can lead to increased cholesterol and blood pressure along with a tendency to obesity.
High cortisol levels suppress the immune system, which sets the stage for allergic responses, yeast overgrowth and chronic infections.
THE EXHAUSTION STAGE: The body's ability to produce cortisol declines, leading to adrenal exhaustion. Excessive fatigue, reduced ability to concentrate, alcohol intolerance, headache, menstrual irregularities and low blood pressure are all symptoms of this stage. Too little cortisol allows the body to become inflamed. This stage promotes chronic inflammation, tissue damage and degenerative disease.
With nutritional intervention, and help with managing stress, you can achieve the RECOVERY STAGE, when your body is back in balance and you are able to cope well with the everyday things in life.
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|SOURCE MK Nutrition|
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