Today, I was lucky enough to assist at a seminar about Cortisol, chronic stress, food intolerances and gut-related conditions. I write lucky, because, I was not meant to be there. I had missed the deadline to register, but at the very last minute a colleague of mine could no longer attend and gave me her tickets.
I am not sure she knows how thankful I am, as the day was packed with learning. It was a great opportunity to top up my knowledge, and, at one point, I asked a question to which the presenter could not answer. This question is now my new subject of research: Why would steroid hormones circulate in their free/active form within saliva, like they would when moving around the blood?
Perhaps, this is something that just might make you laugh, but for me, brings questions about physiology and purpose. Everything in the body – and in nature, in general – has a purpose, and to me, there must be a good reason for something that appears to be so "inconsequential".
The other reason why I wrote "lucky" is because in my quest to know as much as possible on stress and stress-related conditions, and ways to help the body cope better and recover when the resistance threshold has been crossed, there is always new information or input that is not only great but also very useful.
Below are the illustrations found in the book "The Role of Stress and the HPA Axis in Chronic Disease Management" by Thomas G. Guilliams Ph.D., printed by The Point Institute (2010), that the speaker talked about. I cannot wait to read it in full.
Assessing the status or function of an individual’s HPA axis is not the same thing as identifying those unique stressor(s) that have contributed to that status or function. Thankfully, while there are hundreds of internal and external signals that affect the HPA axis, most of them can be collected into just a few simple categories. In most subjects with chronic HPA axis dysfunction, creating strategies to modify the stress-signals coming from one or more of these categories will result in great improvement within the stress response system and, ultimately, overall chronic disease progression.
The last illustration is the best example of stressors I have never come across. It is so simple, and yet so clear, I am wondering why no one has ever came up with it.
All of these are stressors and all generate stress on the body, let it be physical (environment, blood sugar imbalance, or the result of a viral infection or toxin load), mental, emotional, or forced upon the body (e.g. caffeine and other stimulants).
Another subject this book talk about is the Pregnelonone Steal and many of you that have been subscribing to my newsletter know about this phenomenon very well; however, that this process requires further studying as it may in fact not occur in the way we have been led to believe.
It is, however, not a fact to invalidate HAP Axis dysregulation, known once as Adrenal Fatigue, but just a question of pure physiology, in a way that this may not occur at the cellular level, and perhaps not in that exact pathways.
It is clear that HPA Axis dysregulation and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) impact on hormone production and disrupt their finely tuned balance, and a greater cause for symptoms, especially, in women in menopausal age, as the adrenals are taking over in the production of sex hormones.
Known Techniques to relieve stress*
Evening standard, February 15th, 2018
For a brief summary of the historical milestones of stress concepts see: Nicolaides NC, et al. (2015). Stress, the stress system and the role of glucocorticoids. Neuroimmunomodulation. 22(1–2), p. 6–19.
Charmandari, E. Tsigos, C. Chrousos, G. (2005). Endocrinology of the stress response. Annual Review of Physiology. 67, pp. 259–284.
Szabo, S. Tache, Y. Somogyi, A. (2012). The legacy of Hans Selye and the origins of stress research: a retrospective 75 years after his landmark brief “letter” to the editor of nature. Stress. 15(5), pp. 472–478.
McEwen, BS. Stellar, E. (1993). Stress and the individual. Mechanisms leading to disease. Archives of Internal Medicine. 153(18), pp. 2093–2101.
McEwen, BS. (1998). Stress, adaptation, and disease. Allostasis and allostatic load. Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 840, pp. 33–44.
Ames, BN. (2006). Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage. Proceading of the National Academy of Science USA. 103(47), pp. 17589–17594.
Kyrou, I. Tsigos, C. (2009). Stress hormones: physiological stress and regulation of metabolism. Current Opinion in Pharmacology. 9(6), pp. 787–793.
Zannas, AS. West, AE. (2014). Epigenetics and the regulation of stress vulnerability and resilience. Neuroscience. 4;264, pp. 157–170.
Stankiewicz, AM. Swiergiel, AH. Lisowski, P. (2013). Epigenetics of stress adaptations in the brain. Brain Research Bulletin. 98, pp. 76–92.
Lee, RS. Sawa, A. (2014). Environmental Stressors and Epigenetic Control of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. Neuroendocrinology. [Epub ahead of print]
Reynolds, RM. (2013). Glucocorticoid excess and the developmental origins of disease: two decades of testing the hypothesis--2012 Curt Richter Award Winner. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 38(1), pp. 1–11.
Turner-Cobb, JM. (2005). Psychological and stress hormone correlates in early life: a key to HPA axis dysregulation and normalisation. Stress. 8(1), pp. 47–57.
Maniam, J. Antoniadis, C. Morris, MJ. (2014). Early-Life Stress, HPA Axis Adaptation, and Mechanisms Contributing to Later Health Outcomes. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 5:73.
McGowan, PO. (2013). Epigenomic Mechanisms of Early Adversity and HPA Dysfunction: Considerations for PTSD Research. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 4:110.
Registered Naturopath, Nutritional Therapist, Iridologist, Lecturer, NLP practitioner and Personal Performance Coach.
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