Stress and the Body: Endocrine System
"Fear in the mind causes stress in the body" - Mark Driscoll
In my last blog, I was able to elaborate on the cardiovascular system and how that is affected when you endure chronic and acute stress. When you have long-term stress on the cardiovascular system it can lead to heart disease, hypertension, or stroke. This is why stress management is imperative to include in your daily routines so that you don't get into these issues. Now in this blog today, we will be speaking on stress and the endocrine system.
According to Wikipedia the, "Endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormones released by internal glands of an organism directly into the circulatory system, regulating distant target organs." The hormones created and released by the glands in your body's endocrine system control nearby all processes in your body. All of the chemicals in this system assist in the coordination of your body's function from metabolism to growth and development, emotions, mood, sexual function, and even sleep. Within the endocrine system there are many organs which are called glands. These glands are all throughout your body, and they create and secrete hormones. The specific glands within the endocrine system are,
Now when it comes to stress, the endocrine system is extremely vital, especially because the adrenal glands are part of the stress response. When you go through a stressful situation your adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline which make you react to stressors which you encounter. Cortisol is synonymous with a built in alarm system and it is your body's main stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your fear, motivation, and your mood. If you have too much stress, and your cortisol levels are too high it can lead to various health problems, such as trouble sleeping, problems with digestion, memory and concentration problems, weight gain, etc. Now when you have too little cortisol you have muscle weakness, low blood pressure, changes in your skin, excessive fatigue, etc.
Overall, the endocrine system is crucial when it comes to the stress and the stress response, if your adrenal glands are deficient and malfunctioning it can lead to various other diseases, which if I were to speak on would be a whole other blog in itself. Also cortisol production is produced in the adrenal glands. One stress management exercise which reduces cortisol levels is deep breathing exercises, especially diaphragmatic breathing. It's a drug free way to reduce cortisol levels. With that being said, that's the end of the blog, and I hope you enjoyed it, stay tuned until tomorrow!! Peace!! :)