The Stress Reaction | Part 3 of 4 General Adaptation Syndrome - The Resistance Stage
The stress reaction will continue as long as you stay in this phase, that is, as long as you perceive a threat and your body
is able to maintain itself in this heightened state.
In part 2 we detailed the body's natural response to stress. In part 3 we will revisit each response and the damage which it
can cause if you are unable to quickly exit the resistance stage.
Release of Cortisone from the adrenal glands. Chronic cortisone
elevation will cause:
- every lymph gland in the body to shrivel up weakening the immune system.
- destroys the body's resistance to the stresses of cancer, infection, surgery and illness.
- reduces the stomach's resistance to its own acid, leading to duodenal ulcers.
- colitis in the bowels can be aggravated.
- bones are made more brittle, thus they could fracture more easily.
- blood pressure can be elevated by the retenhtion of sodium.
Thyroid hormone increases in the bloodstream.
- shaky nerves to the point of jumpiness.
- intolerance to heat
- ultimately exhaustion or burnout
Release of endorphin from the hypothalamus.
- identical to morphine, this is the body's "feel good" hormone. Chronic stress can deplete the levels of endorphin.
- migraines, backaches, and even the pains of arthritis can be aggravated.
Reduction in sex hormones; testosterone in men; progesterone in women.
- predictable decrease in libido leading to obvious anxieties and failure when intercourse is attempted.
- premature ejaculation.
- women failing to achieve orgasm.
- anxieties inappropriately transfered from one partner to the other leading to emotional conflict and sometimes to the
destruction of the relationship.
The shutdown of the entire digestive tract.
- the mouth goes dry.
- stomach and intestines stop their secretions and movements.
- the rectum and bladder tend to empty to jettison any excess load.
- stomach bloating.
Release of sugar into the blood, along with an increase in insulin levels to
- diabetes can be aggravated, or even started, by excessive demands on the pancreas to produce insulin.
- a craving to eat an excess of foods high in sugar thus overloading the bloodstream which already has high levels of
sugar as part of its natural response to stress.
Increase in cholesterol in the blood, mainly from the liver.
- can cause hardening of the arteries (arterio-sclerotic heart disease).
- can cause a fatal heart attack.
The racing heartbeat.
- high blood pressure, if left unchecked, could lead to strokes, bursting of an aneurysm, or a host of lesser
- can lead to a fatal heart attack in anyone over the age of 15.
Increased air supply.
- disastrous if you are a smoker. The penetration and damage that each cigarette causes is amplified during stress.
- during stress a smoker will usually increase the actual number of cigarettes smoked.
The blood thickens.
- can lead to strokes.
- can lead to heart attacks.
- can lead to embolus (something that travels through the bloodstream, lodging in a blood vessel and blocking it.
Examples of emboli are a detached blood clot, a clump of bacteria and air).
The skin "crawls" and blanches.
- will experience clammy hands.
- pasty face.
- stained armpits.
All 5 senses become acute.
- the senses "burn-out" after unrelenting stress and become less efficient.
- less observant of details around them.
- pays little attention to tastes or smells.
- tunes out whole conversations.
- ignores touch.
- aggravation of certain eye conditions such as glaucoma by the dilating pupil.
- in rare cases stress overload first manifests itself with sudden blindness due to detached retinas.
This is absolutely key!!! Your body will relentlessly increase its hormonal output
in the Resistance Stage of the Stress Reaction so that it can continue to respond to what it sees as a threatening situation.
The problem that you're going to have, if arousal remains elevated, is that your resistance to new stressors will be
weakened and your body will eventually use up all of the energy and resources that were created to deal with the stressor.
The only way that you can ever move out of the Resistance Stage is by REMOVING THE
Article by: Val Zans
"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." - John Dryden
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The single Most Important Truth about Stress
The Stress Reaction - Part 1 of 4
The Stress Reaction - Part 2 of 4 - The Alarm Stage
Stress Reaction - Part 4 - Exhaustion Stage
Val's Personal Message on Overcoming Stress