Most of us have, at one time or another, felt wired and tired, exhausted at night but unable to sleep… Drifting off for a brief time only to wake up with a startling feeling of anxiety followed by a trip to the frig and/or a book, a cigarette, cellphone ramble, etc. and the anxious hope that we might get enough rest for what lies ahead tomorrow.
Some experience this only occasionally while for others it’s quite common and still for some unfortunate few… almost always. During stressful times our “stress glands” get a good workout. These glands are our adrenal glands. The adrenals are paired glands that are located on top of our kidneys (ad = on top, + renal = kidney). They are about the size of a walnut and have both inner and outer parts with different hormonal functions, like 2 glands in one. The adrenals make hormones that serve as chemical messengers to support the body’s response to stress, whether that stress is known or unknown, conscious of or not. They are designed primarily for an immediate response to a perceived threatening situation or event such as an accident or a confrontation with a tiger. This causes the “fright, flight, or fight” response accompanied by many physiological changes in the body like rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, increased blood pressure and increased blood flow to the muscles.
Once the threat has been handled, meaning that the tiger has run away or we from them, the adrenals can rest and the accompanying body changes can go back to normal. Then, the body can go onto more pleasurable activities like body repair(sleep), eating and reproduction….and all is or will be well!
However, sometimes our minds get confused about the actual threat (tigers in this case), and equate things similar or things associated with tigers. So one might become stressed about cats in general sometime in the future or stressed and anxious about stripes, or the color orange, and maybe even whiskers. One may not even remember or be consciously aware of why he or she feels stressed or anxious about these things. As a consequence, one might make up stories in their minds to help explain to themselves and others why they might inappropriately behave or overreact at times of a perceived threat.
Further on, one might even become addicted to the body physiology accompanying stress (ADRENALINE RUSH), after all, it makes one feel more alive and brings them to present time…..which is preferable to a humdrum life of boredom. This might partially explain why we have daredevils and drama queens and kings amongst us!
Any threat to survival that the body perceives will be registered in “memory “ and will activate an adrenal response. Pain and inflammation to begin with, but even those threats that aren’t in conscious awareness will create an adrenal response. For example, heavy metal and chemical toxicity, infectious agents, abnormal electromagnetic radiation, food sensitivities, etc. These, which are common, together with the stress-inducing emotional baggage that we drag around with us will eventually lead to adrenal dysfunction, fatigue, and exhaustion. This may be characterized by a number of early common symptoms (sleep issues, back and neck pain, joint pain, stubborn weight problems, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia) and later a number of diagnosed diseases such as fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, diabetes type II, cancers, cardiovascular disease….GET THE IDEA!
– Dr. Tim Pence, HashtagWV #115. July 2019. Have a question or concern? Contact the future doc (Dr. Tim Pence) at GreenbrierChiro@gmail.com “The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas A. Edison.
HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks. tiktok.com/@hashtagwv