Paleo basics. I shared a few weeks ago that Tom and I were choosing to follow a paleo/primal style diet.
Since then, we’ve lost over 20 pounds combined, have seen our energy levels skyrocket, are watching skin issues clear up and have seen the way we eat – and perhaps more importantly, the way we want to eat – change pretty drastically. What I didn’t share, though, was what a paleo/primal diet is: my favorite description is that we’re following an anti-inflammatory, hormone regulating, whole foods based ancestral diet. Um…yeah. I’m still working to understand the science behind it all – beyond the over-simplified idea that so many of the prevalent modern day diseases we live with exist because our bodies weren’t designed to tolerate and haven’t evolved to eat the Standard American Diet.
I’ve been doing so much reading and research, and it’s starting to make sense…but it hasn’t gelled to the point that I feel like I can really explain it to others yet. So what is my version of a paleo diet? Blech. Grains. The Definitive Guide to Stress, Cortisol, and the Adrenals: When ‘Fight or Flight’ Meets the Modern World. Welcome!
If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, increase energy levels or just generally look and feel healthier you've come to the right place. Here's where to start: Visit the Start Here and Primal Blueprint 101 pages to learn more about the Primal Lifestyle. Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter to receive 10 eBooks, a 7-Day Course of Primal Fundamentals, and more - all for free. Cut to the chase by visiting PrimalBlueprint.com. Thanks for visiting! One of my goals with this weekly column is to make significant human health issues easy to understand and discuss. Now to the topic at hand. Ariel Amanda Flickr Photo (CC) The adrenal glands are not unlike a walnut. Understanding Stress Most folks are aware that “fight or flight” is the body’s natural response to stress. The fight or flight response begins in the brain. Enter physical symptoms: sweating, heart palpitations, muscles tensing, hearing sharpening. Managing Stress Managing stress, then, is paramount to maximizing optimal health.
Effect of chronic stress on the structural plasticity in the brain. Stress May Cause The Brain To Become Disconnected. Does stress damage the brain?
In the March 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry a paper by Tibor Hajszan and colleagues provides an important new chapter to this question. This issue emerged in the 1990’s as an important clinical question with the observation by J. Douglas Bremner and colleagues, then at the VA National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), that hippocampal volume was reduced in combat veterans with PTSD.
This finding was replicated by several, but not all, groups. In particular, it did not appear that this change was associated with acute PTSD. The importance of this finding was further called into question as a group associated with the Harvard Medical School found that reduced hippocampal volume predicted risk for PTSD among twins, rather than emerging as a consequence of PTSD. “This collection of clinical findings highlights an important limitation of clinical neuroimaging studies.
Cortisol and Stress: How Cortisol Affects Your Body, and How To Stay Healthy in the Face of Stress. Cortisol is an important hormone in the body, secreted by the adrenal glands and involved in the following functions and more: Proper glucose metabolism Regulation of blood pressure Insulin release for blood sugar maintanence Immune function Inflammatory response Normally, it’s present in the body at higher levels in the morning, and at its lowest at night.
Although stress isn’t the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream, it has been termed “the stress hormone” because it’s also secreted in higher levels during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to stress, and is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body. Small increases of cortisol have some positive effects: A quick burst of energy for survival reasons Heightened memory functions A burst of increased immunity Lower sensitivity to pain Helps maintain homeostasis in the body Cortisol secretion varies among individuals. Life Stress - How To Stop Life Stress Before It Becomes Severe. We all know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by stress, and this site has many techniques that can effectively reduce high levels of stress to more manageable levels so you don’t suffer negative health consequences.
However, the best way to manage severe stress is to prevent it, or catch it while it’s still low-grade stress and prevent it from becoming severe and chronic. This article contains some important suggestions that have also been recommended by the Mayo Clinic on how to manage stress day-by-day to prevent it from becoming overwhelming. Relaxing.