Stress and Metabolism, part 2
Let’s talk a little more about stress. In a normal, healthy person, what is the most aggressive stressor? The stress mechanism seen right in the morning, when we wake up. As this mechanism starts functioning, it moves muscles, getting our conscious projection in the brain and activating every organ. This all requires a stressful response. You’ve been sleeping for hours, and suddenly your body–your brain–starts releasing chemicals to start your stress response and activate your muscles. This is natural, because your body does it at a normal range, and there is a metabolic response.
As we get up and start our day, we need an increased amount of energy for our usage, so hormones levels in our body increase to awaken the body and getting it ready to function for the day. Glucocorticoid and epinephrine levels participate in this incredible stress response required to begin our day. This is definitely well-monitored and well-regulated. It won’t create damage because there is synchronized activity between the adrenals and communication from the brain to different parts of the body including the pancreas responding to insulin being sent to the bloodstream. But believe it or not, this involves a great amount of stress in the body, just in a very efficient way, taking stored energy and beginning to produce insulin to get sugar into the bloodstream.
Chronic stress is a very inefficient way of trying to do the same thing. Because we withdraw stored energy in a very inefficient way when we are chronically stressed we have a problem in regulating metabolic stress response. This situation, present in our society now, also affects hormone production, brain function, stamina,digestive system damage, energy levels during the day, creativity, etc. The effects go way beyond just the arteries.
The issue here, really, when it comes to diabetic and metabolic problems, is not with the insulin itself. It’s not with the receptors in our cells. Remember that our cells receive messages from the brain, and when insulin receptors are closed, the cells in our bodies don’t control whether the insulin is allowed in or not. It’s the brain telling the receptors that there is a stressful problem present, and that the cells shouldn’t allow insulin to pass, because the body believes it needs all of our excess nutrients to survive whatever is happening (of course there is no real danger, only our irrational thoughts or our perceptions turning on this mechanism).
What happens with these excess carbs, sugars, proteins and fats circulating through the blood? Because of the situation, at this point we have stored so much in these adipose cells that they become full. At this point we’ve got a big problem because they can’t get any fuller. This causes a metabolic stress response to take place. So more glucagon, epinephrine and glucocorticoids are produced to block insulin release. At this point, it’s like the brain doesn’t trust the beta cells in the pancreas. It sends signals to cells telling them not to allow insulin signals; any insulin supplied to the bloodstream won’t be allowed. Even fat cells will receive messages from the brain so they don’t respond to any insulin signals, and they become resistant to it. During the stress response, the body will logically have insulin resistance. The basic biochemical process stops. When this is chronic, the body continually doesn’t respond to metabolic mechanisms.
Here’s a scenario: You’re eating in excess, your fat cells become full, and the adipose cells will say, “Hey we’re full! We don’t have space. No more beds in this hotel!” And they won’t respond to insulin. Thus, the mechanisms are shut down when there is no more room in adipose (fat) cells. This is why overweightness is a promoter of diabetes in addition to chronic stress.
One of the problems here is not having too little energy in the body–there are tons of sugar in the bloodstream! The problem is nothing is being stored, because cells have shut down their receptors. This problem can not be diagnosed until after much damage has occurred and sugar has been killing nerve cells. You’re going to have excess fat going through your bloodstream, and this will start damaging blood vessels and cells. This can damage heart vessels. Some of this fat can create plugs, producing a distraction in the arteries. All of this excess food causes inflammatory responses via cholesterol flooding into our bloodstream, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a very dangerous way to live, affecting our cardiovascular system; that’s a tremendous problem.
Nowadays, this is becoming more prevalent because of high levels of stress in our lifestyles. Something that, a hundred years ago was a disease only affecting a few, has been touching the lives and killing more in the past 30 years, becoming the number one killing disease. It’s even affecting young people and children; metabolic trouble produced by chronic stress. More stress will increase the problem in adults who have added responsibilities.
Normally, our bodily system is perfect. Storages are kept to be used during the hours we are not eating. Everything is regulated, chemicals are produced healthily. But chronic stress shuts down this natural mechanism. This, repeated throughout the day, affects the pancreas, the adrenals, the arteries, and the brain. Chronic stress affects the entire function of our body in different ways. And then we go from the problem of metabolic disease symptoms, to a problem with our heart and circulatory systems and even beyond that to brain connectivity issues.
This is interesting, because we can see the connection between different fields of medicine, but everything is treated separately. If you have a problem with sugar, you will be directed to a physician to help with metabolic issues. If you have a heart problem, you go to a different doctor, a cardiologist to deal with heart problems. And then you have two different types of specialists who don’t communicate. They even got different training, speak different languages, when really these two problems connect, yet are treated separately. Then your metabolic issues increase your heart problems, which create other problems which create even more problems. It’s a whole cycle of damage in one area that affects another area, and you start going in circles. As a quick note on measurements that clinical labs do, when there is an internal problem most of ranges of measurement are not being considered properly because doctors won’t pay attention to other problems and will only focus on what is most pressing, what is in their field of expertise.
Two thirds of the population with chronic stress will have the tendency to eat more than normal. One third with chronic stress will have the tendency to not eat enough. Of course there are those that eat more who already understand the implications of overeating, but they decide to start eating right when chronic stress hits. When stress is present, however, we often give up our ability to eat healthy and self-discipline goes out the window. The real reason of eating more is an endocrinological condition, affecting the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenals, and the secretion of glucocorticoid.
The creation of these hormones in the brain takes seconds, and the creation of hormones in the adrenals takes minutes. If everything goes back to normal, to start the production of glucocorticoid, it takes a few minutes to go back to normal if the stress has stopped. We go back to the original process of storing nutrients and pancreatic activity. The problem is that chronic stress doesn’t happen all at once, but incrementally during the day. We go into chronic stress, then we go back to normal, and then get stressed again. This is why many start eating more, and more of what we are not supposed to eat; too much sugar, fat, etc. When we are stressed, we don’t turn to spinach; we turn to fat and sugar. It’s not a clever thing, but it’s what tends to happen.
On the other hand, if we don’t eat enough, we create another problem. The body starts feeling like it’s starving. The moment stress levels stops, nutrients are converted to fat and stored because the body believes it’s going to starve. This creates metabolic problems, affecting eating habits and storage.
Here are some solutions: One, we need to get to the root of the problem- chronic stress. We have described this in different blogs. It is important that excess fat is used by the body, because when adipose cells are turned into fat, they are in an inflammatory state and produce inflammatory chemicals. The effects become toxic to the liver, pancreas, stomach and other organs and causing them to be sick; this is just the beginning of other health issues.
Phytotherapi’s Metabolic Therapi solution includes phytochemicals from different plants that sends signals to adipose cells, the pancreas, liver and the brain, indicating that there is energy stored. With the protocol along with this solution, the body will utilize this excess energy and weight will be lost in a very natural way without producing physical stress or creating any side-effects. This is not a drug, but a mix of different phytochemicals from plants that work along with the body to ensure energy stores are used. We recommend to also follow protocols for chronic stress to ensure that as the body is utilizing this extra fat, the body is producing the right amount of neurotransmitters.