Adrenal Fatigue Library

Your Stress Response System

Illustration of the Body's Stress Response SYstem
Written by Dr. Andrew Neville

I often refer to this condition as a “Stress Response System Dysfunction,” as opposed to other names, like Adrenal Fatigue, Adrenal Dysfunction, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, etc. I do so on purpose, in order to use a name that fully encompasses the actual cause of the group of symptoms that make up this condition.

The term “stress” is a tough one, because the term is overused these days. Its effects are minimized in society. But ask anyone that researches or treats stress response disease, and they will tell you how devastating this epidemic is.

What does my stress response system do?

The reason that this condition is so debilitating and you have symptoms body-wide is because your stress response governs your entire physiology: every organ and every cell in the entire body. Every minute of every day, your entire physiology is in a delicate balance between “rest and digest” and “fight or flight.” I consider this “seesaw” of physiology to be an absolute key concept in the understanding and treatment of this condition. When this delicate balance becomes dysfunctional because of major trauma (of any kind) or stress from chronic perpetual activation of this system, it will affect every organ system in the body (although some are more vulnerable than others).

In order for you to feel better and for your symptoms to go away, which they absolutely can, you will need to balance your physiologic seesaw and heal your stress response system.


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What happens after a lifetime of constant stress?

Acute stress is akin to running from a tiger. The tiger hunts you, and your stress-response kicks in and tells your body what to do: run from the tiger so you don’t get eaten! When you’re safe and sound, your body returns to its usual function. This is how the stress-response was designed to work. Your entire body gets involved in this stress response; and it  either fights or flees, or it’s being suppressed to conserve energy so you can divert it to the fight.

But these days, we’re overstimulated on an almost constant basis by high-speed, high-pressure life. Adding toxins, social media, technological advance, even “quick-fix” diets, detoxes and cleanses, or symptom-masking pharmaceutical treatments are hard on your body.

So what happens when stress comes from everywhere, all the time? Your body’s response to bankruptcy, a death in the family, or even being stuck in traffic for hours is the same as its response to that of being chased by a tiger. Your body does not differentiate these stressors from each other. All stress in the body is handled in the same way, by your one and only stress response system.

If it’s not just my adrenals, then what is it?”

Your stress response system is made up of more than just your adrenal glands.

Adrenal Dysfunction is a simplified term for a global dysfunction in the entire stress response system. Your stress response has three main parts: hormones, nerves, and the brain. The hormone side involves the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis; the nervous system side involves the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). These two sides are inextricably intertwined but must be treated differently.

The other major player here is a part of the brain called the Limbic system. This “CEO” of your stress response works subconsciously and is the decision maker as to whether a trigger, stimuli, or any information it perceives is harmful or dangerous.

How do we repair it?

There are ways to re-wire and fix this entire system. For those ways to be effective, you have to work on each and every level of the stress response system, hitting it from every angle you can.

You must stop wasting your time, energy, and money treating the secondary and tertiary dysfunctions that result from this condition. Stop chasing pathogens like viruses, candida, parasites; stop detoxing and cleansing and stop trying to fix neurotransmitters. Focus on what is suppressing your body’s ability to deal with these things in the first place, which is a trigger-happy, chronically active stress response system.

There are natural ways to support and heal your body while soothing and calming an overworked stress response system. Realizing this can be a turning point and a reason for hope for anyone who’s been suffering with the symptoms of Adrenal Dysfunction for months or years. No drug accomplishes this; no herb can do this, nor can any diet; and no other practitioners are doing this. It takes a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan that focuses on the actual underlying cause of all the symptoms, and until now, this has not existed.

The reason that I am more successful than most in healing this condition is because I don’t chase red herrings and secondary dysfunctions and focus on the whole stress response system, not merely the adrenals. Together, one-on-one, we will focus on this main underlying cause comprehensively, as a unit, and you will heal at the deepest level possible.

Get your life back. Work with Dr. Neville one-on-one.

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