The adrenals are two small glands that sit one on top of each kidney. These tiny glands are related to stress and our “fight or flight” response. The fight or flight response is designed to keep us alive at all costs! This stress response was modeled to keep energy flowing to the muscles and the brain for pure basic survival.
Do or die is the overwhelming drive behind the body’s reaction to a stressor! So you can see that the stress response has evolved over thousands of years to be the very strong and effective deterrent to death! Now there is no more wondering why stress can be so detrimental. Especially when the stress is a result of something non-death-threatening like a deadline or a defiant teenager!
Today the stress response is more due to perceived threats as opposed to actual threats. So what is the difference between us and a gazelle being chased by a lion in the African veldt? We both have the same immediate response with a rush of cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenaline (a very strong caffeine-like hormone). These cause multiple changes but, mostly as we said earlier, they are related to blood flow to the older parts of the brain, to the muscles and the heart. In the next instant, the gazelle is literally running for his life!
Do you think that he is working out a 70 or 75% of his maximal heart rate like we do at the gym? No! He is running at 100% flat out to stay alive! When you watch the discovery channel, you will also notice that the chase only lasts 30 to 60 seconds, at most! At the end of that time, the gazelle, if he has been lucky, will catch his breath and go back to grazing.
We as humans in the modern world have the ability to mount a very effective stress response. Unfortunately, we do a very poor job choosing when to respond, thereby avoiding unnecessary responses and a poor job of alleviating the response through vigorous exercise.
In our office, we are very familiar with stress and diagnosing stress related issues. Dr DeCosmo has had extensive additional training by Dr. Jacob Teitlebaum, one of the world’s fatigue and adrenal experts, and, many others in the diagnosis and treatment of adrenal dysfunction.
We can help you to figure out what the problem is and how to remedy it. So how do we put out this fire that stress causes in our bodies? Stop pouring gas on the fire, minimize and deal with the stress.