Acute and chronic stress
Stress triggers fight/flight response with physiological changes including: – upregulation of heart rate, BP, breathing, glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, cytokine production, immune response, and water and sodium retention – downregulation of digestion, GnRH, GH, LH and TSH • Chronic stress (allostatic load) on the body leads to: – lack of hormonal inhibition through negative feedback – higher cortisol levels (with depletion in later stages) – higher disease burden • Stress-related health problems range from addictions, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, sleep disorders, impairment of cognitive function and memory, heart disease, obesity, homonal disturbances, inflammation, auto-immune disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia to digestive disorders • Stress management includes coping mechanisms such as plenty of good sleep, exercise, relaxation, wholesome diet and social support • Therapies include CBT, physical therapies, nutritional and herbal medicine and miscellaneous therapies, such as art, music and light
Gruner, TM 2006, 'Acute and chronic stress', Journal of Complementary Medicine, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 12-25.
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