The hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis is the body’s central stress response system. In today’s society there is little time to rebuild between each stressful event, so it is common to encounter stress as a cause of a patient’s health concerns. Because of this allostatic load, the HPA axis goes from a hyperalert state to that of a downregulated response. Some patients may become “stuck” in an agitated, overwhelmed state due to structural changes in their prefrontal cortex and amygdala, while others are so tired that an entire night’s sleep does not rejuvenate their energy levels.
Evaluation and Management
Identifying key stressors, plus salivary cortisol testing, can help you effectively evaluate your stressed-out patients. Once their stage of stress and contributing factors are determined, targeted nutrient and lifestyle management can be recommended.
Below are key ingredients to support stress resiliency and help withstand the effects of stress on the nervous system.