Stress is a common challenge that we all face on a regular basis. The cause of stress can range from minor irritations, such as traffic jams or lack or sleep, to more significant events such as divorce or the loss of a loved one. And while the spectrum of stress is vast, the way that our bodies react to such stressors remains constant.
The Fight Or Flight Response
To understand the biology of stress, we must go back to the beginnings of mankind. Imagine that you are walking through a dense forest in search of your next meal. Your senses are already heightened as you move from tree to tree, hoping to catch a glimpse of your desired prey, when seemingly from out of nowhere, you find yourself facing an 8-foot bear. It is then that you realize that you have gone from the hunter to the hunted. In that split second of recognition your body shifts into what is known as the fight or flight response. Your brain becomes inundated with sensory overload, thus triggering the adrenal glands to begin releasing the four major stressor hormones, cortisol, DHEA, norepinephrine, and adrenaline, throughout your body in preparation for the challenge at hand. This cascading sequence causes your body to undergo a series of dramatic changes. Your respiratory rate increases. Blood is hunted away from your digestive tract and directed into your muscles and limbs, which now require extra energy to fuel for running and fighting. Your pupils dilate. Your awareness intensifies. Your sight sharpens. Your pulse quickens. Your perception of pain diminishes. Your immune system mobilizes with increases activation. You become prepared, both physically and mentally, for fight or flight.
However, when the adrenal glands begin pumping out these stress hormones it causes an abnormality in the adrenal output rhythm. Throughout the day our adrenal glands release hormones cyclically, sending out the highest levels of cortisol in the morning and the lowest levels in the evening. As our cortisol levels increase, our DHEA levels decrease. But, when the normal rhythm of output is disturbed it creates imbalance in the body functions which can, over time, lead to serious health problems.
The Effects of Adrenal Imbalance on Our Health
In the early days of mankind, such primal biological responses were necessary for survival of the human species. Unfortunately, in today's day and age, while the sheer volume of stressors has increased, usually the degree of danger is minimal. And, even though we do encounter occasions where our instincts vacillate between fighting and running, most of these situations do not require such a severe response.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
My Healthy Recommendations
Several common supplements can be used to treat adrenal imbalance; however it is important to consult with a health care provider knowledgeable in nutritional supplementation and the correction of adrenal problems before choosing which supplements will be the most effective.
Learn More About Adrenal Imbalance
To learn more about regaining control of your adrenals, pick up a copy of my book "Be PerfectlyHealthy" by visiting: http://www.perfectlyhealthy.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=BE-Perfectly-Healthy-Book.