The Physiology of stress
The body has a natural response to stress, and according to Canadian MD Peter Hanson this is the path the body follows;
Release of cortisone from the adrenal glands.
- over time cortisone breaks down the body's resistence to illness.
Thyroid hormone increases in the bloodstream to provide additional energy.
- this can lead to shaky nerves, insomnia and burn-out.
Endorphin, a natural pain killer, is released by the hypothalamus gland.
- with chronic stress, endorphine levels drop, resulting in backaches and migraine.
Reduction of sex hormones.
- libido and sexual activity diminish.
Blood is diverted from the digestive tract to the muscles.
- this can cause the digestive tract to shut down, diarrhoea and nausea can result.
Release of sugar and increased level of insulin into the bloodstream for energy.
- this can lead to hypoglycaemia.
An increase of cholesterol in the blood from the liver as another source of energy.
- too much cholesterol can lead to hardening of the arteries.
An increased heart rate, ie: more movement of blood through the body.
- can lead to high blood pressure with chronic or long-term stress.
Increased air supply.
Thickening of the blood.
-the thicker the blood the more susceptible a person is to heart attack.
Blanching or whitening of the skin.
- looking and feeling stressed doesn’t improve anything.
Enhancement of the functions of the five senses.
- excessive stress can lead to burnout which eventually dulls the senses.
Reading all of that highlights just how important it is to NOT let yourself go into ' stress mode' doesn't it!