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Stress Hormones: The Downward Spiral
Like everything in the body, stress hormones serve a specific purpose. For example, cortisol is absolutely needed for survival, rapidly rising in times of acute stress to trigger adrenaline and noradrenaline production to heighten your senses and physical response times in order to avoid getting hit by that speeding taxi as you step off the NYC sidewalk into the street.
Acute, rapid increases in stress hormones aren’t necessarily a bad thing. They help you stay alive. Especially when you do something stupid.
Unfortunately, for most of us, our stress hormones aren’t just acutely elevated. They’re chronically elevated.
The catabolic nature of stress hormones can have a catastrophic negative effect on your health when chronically elevated, quite literally destroying your body in a “slow burn” over decades.
Stress hormones stay chronically elevated because of environmental input into your body, such as prolonged physical or psychological stressors (without adequate recovery periods), estrogenic influences from foods, plastics, and pesticides, and deficiencies that trigger unfavorable cascades (such as sodium deficiency, causing your kidneys to activate the RAAS pathway as a compensation mechanism).
When these environmental inputs are not properly balanced through support of protective hormones, which is almost always the cause due to the oppositional nature of the hormone relationships, the slow burn begins, a downward spiral of physical degeneration.
While there are many hormones involved in the human stress response, in the interest of pursuing leveraged thinking, we’re going to focus on improving the following, since this will create the biggest positive impact in the shortest period of time:
Adrenaline and Noradrenaline
Evolutionary programming has created an extremely efficient stress response system in your body, known as the sympathetic nervous system. This can be a double-edged sword in our modern world.
In the presence of a stressor, the amygdala, which is considered to be the “fear center” of the brain, quickly signals to the hypothalamus to trigger a signaling cascade through the pituitary to the adrenal glands. This pathway is known as the HPA axis.
The pituitary gland, via the hormone ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), tells the adrenal glands to push down the “gas pedal” by pumping cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream, which acutely heightens your senses, increases blood pressure, and triggers the release available glucose then stored fatty acids into the blood for extra energy.
Glucose, being readily available in acute stress situations, also happens to be in limited supply since it’s needed for so many other important bodily functions. When cortisol is chronically elevated, glucose is quickly used up to fuel this “survival mechanism” and no longer available for important “thriving” processes like the brain’s cognitive processes, reproductive processes, detoxification in the liver, and thyroid gland energy metabolism processes.
All resources are distributed to survival.
The problem is, chronic cortisol and adrenaline elevation inherently uses up preferred energy sources, and requires the body to switch to a survival metabolism, dumping stored fatty acids into the bloodstream, which creates unfavorable metabolic byproducts on the cellular level, such as lactic acid, and lowers overall CO2 production in the body which is needed for regenerative processes.
In modern chronic stress scenarios, we’re not actually trying to “survive” in the primal sense of the word, but your body doesn’t know the difference. It’s wired to be extremely efficient at facilitating this stress response.
When your stress response is chronically engaged, with its resources being used to “survive,” it creates a downward spiral of degeneration.
The good news: when you become aware of this, there are a lot of things you can do to stop it, by eliminating the Blockers that cause this chronic physiological stress, while introducing Activators that will support your protective hormones once again, to skew the hormonal balance back in your favor.
[Music] Like everything in the body stress Hormones serve a specific purpose For example cortisol is absolutely Needed for survival Rapidly rising in times of acute stress To trigger adrenaline and noradrenaline Production to heighten your senses and Physical response times in order to Avoid getting hit by that speeding taxi As you step off the new york city Sidewalk into the street Acute rapid increases in stress hormones Aren’t necessarily a bad thing they They really help you stay alive Especially when you do something stupid Unfortunately for most of us we’re not Dealing with just acute increases in Stress hormones We’re dealing with chronically elevated Levels of these stress hormones The catabolic nature of stress hormones Can have a catastrophic Negative effect on your health when Chronically elevated quite literally Destroying your body in a slow burn over Decades stress hormones stay chronically Elevated because of environmental input Into your body such as prolonged Physical or psychological stress without Adequate recovery periods Estrogenic influences from foods Plastics and pesticides And deficiencies that trigger
Unfavorable cascades such as sodium Deficiency causing your kidneys to Activate the ras pathway as a Compensation mechanism When these environmental inputs aren’t Properly balanced with the support of The protective hormones which is almost Always the case due to the oppositional Nature of how hormones Work you start to initiate the slow burn The downward spiral of physical Degeneration While there are a lot of different Hormones involved in the human stress Response In the interest of pursuing leveraged Thinking we’re going to focus on Improving the following since this is Going to create the biggest positive Impact in the shortest period of time Estrogen cortisol adrenaline and Noradrenaline Evolutionary programming has created an Extremely efficient Stress response system in your body Known as the sympathetic nervous system This can be a double-edged sword however In our modern world In the presence of a stressor the Amygdala which is considered to be the Fear center of the brain quickly signals To the hypothalamus to trigger a Signaling cascade through the pituitary To the adrenal glands
This pathway is known as the hpa axis The pituitary gland via the hormone acth Or adrenocorticotropic hormone tells the Adrenal glands to push down the gas Pedal by pumping cortisol and adrenaline Into the bloodstream which acutely Heightens your senses Increases blood pressure and triggers The release of available glucose then Stored fatty acids into the blood for Extra energy Glucose being readily available in acute Stress situations also happens to be in Limited supply Since it’s needed for so many other Important bodily functions When cortisol is chronically elevated Glucose is quickly used up to fuel this Survival mechanism and no longer Available for important thriving Processes like the brain’s cognitive Processes Reproductive processes detoxification in The liver and thyroid gland energy Metabolism processes All resources are distributed to Survival the problem is chronic cortisol And adrenaline elevation inherently uses Up preferred energy sources and requires The body to switch to a survival Metabolism Dumping stored fatty acids into the Bloodstream which creates unfavorable Metabolic byproducts on the cellular
Level such as lactic acid And lowers overall co2 production in the Body which is needed for regenerative Processes In modern chronic stress scenarios we’re Not actually trying to survive In the primal sense of the word but your Body doesn’t know the difference It’s wired to be extremely efficient at Facilitating the stress response When your stress response is chronically Engaged with its resources being used to Survive It creates a downward spiral of Degeneration the good news is that once You become aware of this there are steps That you can take to stop it The first step is to eliminate blockers Things that are causing the stress Hormones to elevate in your body And then the second step is to introduce Activators into your body That are going to increase the natural Protective hormone levels And help you balance everything out