Physiological Effects of Stress
These biochemical markers of stress in turn lead to ill health and psychosocial disorders. Consequently, stress plays a major causative role in both physical and mental health.
When undergoing a series of test to evaluate markers of stress, including cortisol and DHEA levels, the results in over thousands of cases are remarkable consistent: only 20-25% have cortisol levels consistent with healthy adrenal function, while 75-80% suffer impaired function.
The effects are profound: fatigue and weakness, hormonal imbalance, skin problems, hair loss, autoimmune disorders, insulin resistance and dozens of other health concerns.
With out adrenal glands consistently on “high alert,” high cortisol levels have a destructive effect.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress, affecting the body’s metabolism of glucose, proteins and fats. It is normally released by the body in a regular daily pattern of highs and lows. Imbalances gradually tear your body down.
Sustained high cortisol levels:
- Destroy healthy muscle and bone
- Slow down healing and normal cell regeneration
- Co-opt parent molecules needed to make other vital hormones
- Impair digestion, metabolism and mental function
- Interfere with healthy endocrine function
- Weaken your immune system
To restored healthy adrenal function, eat in tune with your natural cortisol curve. Enrich your nutrition, reduce refined carbohydrates and cut back on stimulants.
↓DHEA DECREASE: Dehydroepiandrosterone
At the same time that cortisol levels increase, the production of DHEA is decreased. DHEA production already decreases, naturally, as we get older. When heightened levels of cortisol further inhibit DHEA we set ourselves up for physical and mental disaster. We begin to lose our ability to cope with stress, our short-term memory can begin to falter and our health starts to wane. It doesn’t have to be this way.
DHEA is the most abundant steroid in the body. DHEA is a steroid precursor produced by the adrenal gland and converted to testosterone or the estrogens by the body’s tissues. Adequate DHEA levels give the body the building blocks necessary to produce these hormones. Levels of DHEA are inversely associated with coronary artery disease. Taking DHEA may increase IGF-1 levels and increase the sense of well-being. DHEA levels decrease with age.
DHEA is also an important hormone produced in the adrenal glands, the body’s primary source for the production of the sex hormone testosterone. Peak levels of DHEA are reached in an individual’s early to mid-20s. Optimal levels are associated with increased energy, healthy immune and cardiovascular function, improved memory and elevated mood.
Boosting the body’s diminished supply of DHEA can help an individual more effectively combat chronic mental and physical stress. Natural DHEA supplementation counters the negative effects of having too many corticosteroids and bringing the body back into balance. The body regains its ability to fight off sickness and the mind regains its ability.
The adrenal response can be life-saving. There are many ways to replenish adrenal function and health naturally. When you restore balance to your adrenal glands, you’ll see results on every physical and emotional level, and your whole body will thank you for saving it!