Stress is stress to the human body. Your body does not differentiate one stressor from another. Whether the stress response is initiated from financial pressures, marital stressors, too much sunlight, poor food choices, etc., the general stress response from the body is the same. The greater the total load of your stressors place on the body (this is called physiological load), the greater the nutritional demand placed upon your body. The poorer your nutrition practice happens to be, the greater a nutritional deficit you will accumulate. Creating health, therefore, is about having enough nutrition in your health “savings account” so that your body can mount an effective stress response and remain with a positive balance (homeostasis). For most of the general population, the amount of nutritional “debt” that they accumulate over a lifetime leads to chronic, degenerative conditions. In effect, what people are doing when they eat garbage foods and do not match the nutritional demand that they place on the body, is the equivalent of “deficit spending” in the body. You are spending nutrition to attempt to regenerate without having any nutrition in the bank – and very soon you are waking up each day with a negative balance in your health account. In such cases, the creation of health is never allowed to manifest in any real sense.
Deficit “Health” Spending
Stressors, regardless of source, affect every cell and every physiological system of your body. Nowadays, everyone is quick to blame adrenal fatigue for every health related problem they have, particularly if the individual in question has low energy and sleep issues. While the adrenals do play a role in the body’s general stress response, it is worth mentioning that the real problem is that you have used up all of your nutritional “reserves” and your health “account” is essentially bankrupt. While this does involve the adrenal glands, the “adrenal fatigue” is likely the result of the issue(s) at hand rather than the cause.
The adrenal glands are one very important component in body’s stress response and the hormones associated with them help to regulate and influence virtually every metabolic process in the body from bone turnover to nervous system repair. The adrenals are involved with a simplex of other systems, glands and organs of the body, which continually strive to maintain a nutritional debit, or homeostatic balance. The function of the adrenals can become compromised for any number of reasons. For me, the principle reason the adrenals begin to become “fatigued” is because of a lack of nutritional “income” to help the body produce and conserve energy effectively. Some of the primary stressors, in my experience, of the inability to produce and conserve energy and hindering the body from maintaining physiological balance (homeostasis) are as follows:
- Being over worked – particularly when one does not truly enjoy the work being done
- Poor nutrition – not eating enough foods to make effective “deposits” and eating too many foods that create “debt”
- Poor Sleep Quality (often due to the other factors on this list and choosing poor bed time – after 10:30 p.m.)
- Too much/Improper exercise – many people who are already “negative” in their health bank account mistakenly think that they will create greater levels of health by exercising themselves nearly to death – this is a grave mistake
- Overconsumption of sympathetic stimulants such as synthetic sugars, caffeine, and highly processed foods
- Ignoring Respiratory (breathing) Mechanics
How many people do you know in your immediate circle that fit into this clinical picture? If I were to speculate wildly, I would say that most of them fall smack dab in the middle of this scenario. Unfortunately, with the above practices, these stressors drain the body’s health account and it is only a matter of time before a loss of function, a loss of homeostasis, is the result. In other words, the individual is now no longer able to effectively adapt and regenerate. Rather, s/he will now begin tripping lightly down the degeneration pathway.
If the nutritional “income” does not match the nutritional demand placed on the body, the body will begin to use its nutritional “reserves” to attempt to match the demand. But where do we keep these nutritional reserves? Simply put…in our own cells, tissues, organs, etc. As this situation continues, catabolic degeneration has disastrous consequences for the health of the entire body. Namely, it produces illness and disease.
Physiological Economic Rebound
To quote Ray Peat, PhD, “The ideal therapy is one which restores the cellular energy thoroughly, so the organism regains its full capacity to adapt, and seeks appropriate stimulation.” This is perhaps my favorite quote when applied to nutritional science. Since the cell is the basic, fundamental unit of Life, it makes sense to me that restoring the cell’s ability to produce energy to match the energy demand (stressors) placed on the body day in and day out is the way to go in terms of rehabilitating one’s health bank account. When a person’s nutritional/health bank account has been overdrawn, and they have been operating on deficit spending (degeneration) for some time, you must support the entire organism, from the cell level up, the entire person, body, mind, spirit, in order to effectively pay back your nutritional debt plus the interest. In other words, it goes WAY beyond the adrenal glands.
It must be remembered that creating an environment favorable for this “rebound” to occur does take time and attention to Self. It is foolish to think that any individual will wipe out all debt accumulated throughout a lifetime in just a few months. There is no such thing as winning the nutritional “lottery” and suddenly paying back all debt in a short period of time. That is simply not how the body works. Erasing a lifetime of “debt” is a long-term process and really never ends. When given what it needs, however, the human body does demonstrate a remarkable capacity for regeneration. There is evidence that suggests that within as little as 24 hours after consuming a meal, the body is using the nutrition from that meal to begin replacing and repairing cells. Research also suggests that the body can regenerate any living tissue within a 1-2 year period of time, again, provided it is given what it needs in terms of nutritional “deposits” and nutritional “debts” are avoided.
Towards New Health
Making such “deposits” always requires change. That is just the reality of the situation. Change is a necessary component to creating new levels of health and vitality. One has to decide to embrace these changes in order to foster effective transformation and healing, or simply continue to do things as they have always done them and experience a downward spiral of health issues and degeneration. That is just the bottom line (and not because Stone Cold said so!)
Change is very frightening for so many people because it requires that an individual begins to get closer to Self and what his/her Core Values actually are. This is scary because, in my experience, few of us actually know anything real about our Self and what we truly want to use our Life’s energy for. I know I had no idea until I went through this entire process for myself. Long story short, I was a very sick kid – constantly sick with sinus issues to GI problems, etc. I decided when I was about 15 years old that I did not want to continue to live that way as an adult and I began making radical changes to my diet, exercise, and thought processes. I also decided that I wanted to share what I would learn along the way with anyone willing to listen. I have done so ever since.
Along the journey towards new health, you will likely encounter LOTS of people who are likely to ridicule and “poo-poo” the changes that you will need to make. Nearly everyone will critique the changes you will make from their own unique perspective of reality. Many of them will be within your own family. As Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness tells his son, “You have a dream, you have to protect it……people can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it.” This is where “knowing your why” and communicating with Self come in very handy. Making your changes from a place of Self Love is an essential tool for overcoming the doubts and ridicule of the naysayers. I have written about this in a previous post entitled How Much Love Do You Have? Learn to listen to the voice of Self and your choices will become crystal clear and the mindless chatter of outsiders will become silent.
I have dedicated a large portion of my life towards educating people on the how’s, what’s, and when’s of effective nutritional and lifestyle changes that are required to create optimal health and wellness. If you are willing to operate from a position of Self Love and embrace the journey of creating optimal health, climbing out of nutritional/health “debt” and achieving boundless nutritional wealth is well within your grasp….IF, you really want it!
Recommended Reading & Study:
1. Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/BodyGuide by Deepak Chopra, M.D.
2. Creating Health: How to Wake Up the Body’s Intelligence by Deepak Chopra, M.D.
3. Generative Energy by Ray Peat, PhD.