En­ergy Stress vs De­struc­tive Stress

Alternative Medicine - - Quick Nutrition -

Stress serves as a de­fen­sive and adap­tive mech­a­nism that al­lows you to phys­i­cally and men­tally deal with neg­a­tive sit­u­a­tions. This con­cept, known as the fight-or-flight syn­drome or adap­tive re­sponse, was orig­i­nally coined by Hans Se­lye, MD, a pro­fes­sor and di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Ex­per­i­men­tal Medicine at the Univer­sity of Mon­treal. The adap­tive re­sponse is what hap­pens in the body when en­coun­ter­ing dan­ger. For ex­am­ple, when In­di­ana Jones faces a snake, his pulse quick­ens, he breathes faster, his mus­cles tense, and his brain uses more oxy­gen and gears all his in­ter­nal phys­i­o­log­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties to­ward help­ing him sur­vive the sit­u­a­tion.

This type of en­ergy-re­lated stress can boost the im­mune sys­tem as well as phys­i­cal strength, and in the short-term, is ben­e­fi­cial. Once the per­ceived dan­ger sub­sides, nor­mal in­ter­nal oper­a­tions re­sume. Renowned stress re­searcher Robert Sapol­sky, PhD, a pro­fes­sor of bi­o­log­i­cal sciences, neurology, and neu­ro­log­i­cal sciences at Stan­ford Univer­sity, states that your body es­sen­tially turns off every­thing that’s not es­sen­tial to sur­viv­ing, such as di­ges­tion, growth, and re­pro­duc­tion dur­ing this short adap­tive phase of stress. In his 30 years of re­search, he found that in this phase, you think more clearly, and cer­tain as­pects of learn­ing and mem­ory are en­hanced.

Un­for­tu­nately, the adap­tive re­sponse is not al­ways ben­e­fi­cial. Dr. Sapol­sky tells us that that con­stant non-life-threat­en­ing stres­sors trig­ger the re­lease of adrenalin and other stress hor­mones, which, over time, can have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences on your health. For in­stance, if you turn on the stress re­sponse chron­i­cally for purely psy­cho­log­i­cal rea­sons, you in­crease your risk of adult on­set di­a­betes and high blood pres­sure. If you’re chron­i­cally shut­ting down the di­ges­tive sys­tem due to stress re­sponse, there’s a clus­ter of gas­troin­testi­nal dis­or­ders you’re more at risk of de­vel­op­ing.

FOR IN­STANCE, IF YOU TURN ON THE STRESS RE­SPONSE CHRON­I­CALLY FOR PURELY PSY­CHO­LOG­I­CAL REA­SONS, YOU IN­CREASE YOUR RISK OF ADULT ON­SET DI­A­BETES AND HIGH BLOOD PRES­SURE. Ad­di­tion­ally, stress hor­mones can clog ar­ter­ies, in­crease plaque, dam­age blood ves­sels, and re­strict blood flow, which jeop­ar­dizes heart health.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.