The entry point of stress.
Chronic stress causes an imbalance in the brain hormone regulation as well as the brain-adrenal gland link. ( the HPA axis)
This results in pain system amplification called “central sensitisation”.
Chronic pain disrupts the normal circadian rhythms of the body.
Disruption of the normal circadian rhythm results in poor sleep.
Poor sleep causes poor memory, fatigue, lowered resistance to infection and increased pain.
An increase in pain further disrupts sleep and leads to depletion of brain hormones such as serotonin.
Low serotonin levels leads to an increase in the central nervous system hormone, substance P which in turn sensitises the pain system further.
Poor sleep and stress leads to increased fatigue and bowel dysfunctions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Chronic stress leads to depletion of adrenal gland hormones and lowered immune function
Lowered adrenal gland function leads to lower blood pressure and more fatigue.
There are treatment options for each area of dysfunction using lifestyle practices, nutritional supplementation and pharmacological approaches.
3 important steps in treatment
- Increase serotonin levels
- Restore the circadian rhythms.
- Manage stress.