What makes stress so unhealthy?
You know stress is unhealthy. After all, science journals around the world reveals the constant state of psychological stress we find ourselves in today’s society could easily contribute toward many degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, as well as a variety of other symptoms.
Do you know why or how this happens?
Simply put, each stage of stress (i.e., alarm, resistance, recovery) creates a tremendous potential for nutrient imbalances. Each stage of stress and the duration of each stage results in an increased retention of some nutrients, an excessive excretion of other nutrients, and an excessive utilization of others. This is the biochemistry of stress.
As you know, a deficiency of any nutrient is commonly associated with a symptom or the potential manifestation of disease. What you may not realize is that the increased retention (nutrient excess) of any nutrient is potentially as harmful as a deficiency.
The purpose of this page is to provide an insight into the mechanics between stress, nutrition, and health. In addition, this information may reveal how nutritional screenings may be useful as an important component of conventional stress tests.
What does stress look like? You know what stress looks like when people are tense, have distant looks, angry, and their hair is standing on end. However, look at the photo because stressed and chronically stressed people look just like this.
Stages of Stress
Hans Selye revealed that we are subject to what he coined the General Adaptation Syndrome (G.A.S.) defined as the nonspecific response of the body to any demand. The G.A.S consists of the alarm, resistance, and exhaustion stages. Today, we must include two additional stages (the chronic resistance stage and the exhaustion stage) that will help gain better insight into the resulting nutritional disruptions.
The alarm stage is the “fight or flight” response that initiates the dominance of the sympathetic neuroendocrine system. This reduces neuroendocrine glands and organs (i.e., digestive system) not essential toward immediate survival.
A partial list of nutrients involved in the alarm stage includes the minerals sodium, magnesium, selenium, copper, and vitamins that include C, D, E, and several B vitamins and amino acids.
Nutrient interrelationship example: sodium, a stimulatory nutrient, becomes excessive and antagonistic to magnesium, which is a sedative nutrient. Read more: Alarm Stage of Stress.
As you pass into the resistance stage, you either resolve your stressor or begin to transition into an adaptation to your stressor. A partial list of additional nutrients includes potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and several B vitamins and amino acids.
Nutrient interrelationship example: potassium, also a stimulatory nutrient, becomes excessive and is antagonistic to calcium and magnesium. By now, both sodium and potassium are excessive and are antagonistic to calcium and magnesium. Read more: Resistance Stage of Stress.
Chronic Resistance Stage:
All of the nutrients involved in the alarm and resistance stages are now subject to long-term demands that result in nutrient imbalances. These imbalances apply to all essential nutrients – minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids.
The longer you remain in the chronic resistance stage the more amplified nutrient excesses and deficiencies become due to the complex synergistic/antagonistic interrelationships, both direct and indirect, that exist between all essential nutrients.
Unfortunately, the chronic resistance stage is epidemic in our society. Our jobs, relationships, fears, anger, disease, toxins, medications, grudges, pathogens, competitive nature, and every other stressor, perceived or real, keeps us in the chronic resistance stage.
The chronic resistance stage further compromises your immune systems, depletes your energy, interrupts your digestive system, and increases your venerability toward degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, depression, cancer, chronic fatigue, and so on. Read more: Chronic Resistance Stage of Stress.
The exhaustion stage is commonly labeled as “adrenal burnout” and usually requires years or decades in the chronic resistance stage before you hit this wall. If you are lucky, you are not afflicted with a degenerative disease.
The exhaustion stage feels like somebody pulled the plug and you no longer have any energy. What has happened is that you have depleted the adrenal glands ability too continually supply hormones, such as adrenaline, to maintain your energy levels.
The adrenals were never intended to be your primary source of energy nor are they a sustainable energy source. They were intended to provide powerful hormones for psychophysiological changes required for extra energy in an emergency as seen in the alarm stage.
The chronic resistance and exhaustion stages are the real financial boon to an absolute plethora of energy products now available. Read more: Exhaustion Stage of Stress.
If you are able to progress through the alarm and resistance stages and bypass the chronic resistance and exhaustion stages, the recovery stage would include nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, copper, and selenium, and vitamins C, D, E, and several B vitamins. However, this is a rare occasion.
Today, due to long-term nutrient imbalances, a nutritional program that targets all essential nutrients is the most effective for recovery. Here again, a targeted nutrition program absolutely requires the use of laboratory analyses and cannot be accomplished by guesswork. Read more: Recovery Stage of Stress.
What is your current stage of stress?
Additional pages that may interest you:
Share the knowledge!
If you found this page informative and helpful, please share it with your family and friends. If you choose HairAnalysisReport.com as your provider, please share that as well!
The content and laboratory services provided on this site are for educational and informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease.
Image used under license from Shutterstock.com