Emotional Stress: How Chronic Emotional Stress Can Ruin Your Health

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Difference Between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic
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Conditions that are Associated with Toxins

Dysautonomia - Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction

However, if it isn't working properly, then toxins get back logged in the body. When toxins get back logged in the body, then they get deposited in the brain, fat, tissues, cells and organs where they can damage other organs and systems and wreck havoc on your mind and body for years to come.

They may damage mitochondria, interfere in energy production, and damage the immune, endocrine and nervous system. Yet on the other hand, when one remains in the fight or flight state on a regular basis, this impairs the detoxification system, as the body does not have the resources needed to deal with detoxification.

Thus if you can get your body and mind back into the preferred parasympathetic state with some other techniques, the detoxification system can work more efficiently, or if you improve the functioning of your detoxification system, you'll eliminate the toxins stored in your body that are keeping you in the state of fight or flight and thus restore balance to the autonomic nervous system. It goes both ways. There are two phases in the detoxification system where problems may arise, phase I or phase II.

Phase I prepares the toxin to be excreted, called oxidation, and phase II attaches another substance to the toxin to be excreted through the feces or the urine, called conjugation. Phase I consists of a group of enzymes called cytochrome P While phase II consists of a variety of conjugation pathways known as acetylation, glutathione, glucoronidation, sulfation, methylation, glycination and taurine.

It is often a combination of all three. For example, heavy metals impair phase II methylation, toxins from bacteria can impair phase II glucoronidation and pesticides, inhibit an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which prevents our primary neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, from being broke down.

This results in an excessive level of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitters that regulates our fight or flight as well as the brain, muscles and nerves. An excess of acetylcholine results in overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous stem, thus keeping one in an ongoing state of fight or flight. Pesticides also cause phase I to be up regulated and phase II to be down regulated, which means that the body can't get rid of the toxin that has been oxidized.

The oxidized toxin is actually much more toxic than the original toxin, so it is essential that phase II is able to keep up with phase I.

Not only that, pesticides also inhibits the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin, another primary neurotransmitter needed to keep the autonomic nervous system in check, as well as regulating our mood.

Pesticides can also cause permanent damage to the cytochrome P enzymes. Sherry Rogers, detoxification may also become backlogged because there are some toxins that the body is simply not capable of dealing with because the detoxification system does not have a mechanism available to handle that type of toxicity.

All toxins put an excessive burden on the detoxification system, because in order to excrete the sea of toxins we are all exposed to every day, it uses up all our nutrients in reserve. Additionally, most people are eating a diet that is void of nutritional value, therefore they don't consume the nutrients needed to have a healthy mind and body in the first place.

Nutritional deficiencies are abundant in the general population. Both phase I and phase II detoxification may be inhibited by diet and nutritional deficiencies as they both need a variety of minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants in order to function properly. Therefore, eating a healthy diet and correcting nutritional deficiencies are of major importance in the road to recovery, regardless what health condition you have. For example, the cytochrome P enzymes require a wide array of nutrients in order to function properly like copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and the B vitamin group.

Phase II detoxification also requires an abundance of nutrients to run efficiently. For example, methylation needs an abundance of B12, folic acid, methionine and B6. A deficiency in glycine would impair glycination and a deficiency in sulfur would impair sulfation. A deficiency in B5 or molybdenum and acetylation will not work adequately.

Additionally, their can be a variety of genetic polymorphisms in the cytochrome p enzyme and in acetylation, methylation and glucoronidation where the individual is missing crucial enzymes needed to detoxify.

Thus their systems are much more vulnerable to toxicity. People who are intolerant of prescription drugs often have a polymorphism in CYP2D6. Some research, like that done by Professor Nicola Cherry, suggests that approximately one third of the population may be deficient in paraoxonase, an enzyme that is needed to detoxify organophosphates.

These people would be much more susceptible to herbicide poisoning and other negative effects from these types of chemicals. So, what we see here is that the toxins themselves impair the detoxification system, but a detoxification system that is not working properly for other reasons, can make one vulnerable to toxicity and develop health conditions that would not have developed if the system were up to par in the first place.

To improve the detoxification system the toxins both internal and external must be reduced and the functioning of the system must be improved.

Functional medicine testing can be used to identify the weaknesses in your detoxification system and then it can be improved with diet, lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements. So obviously, we are missing something here. This method apparently does not have the complete picture either. However, there are a variety of reasons one doesn't see progress with detoxification and nutritional supplements. Partly it can be because they didn't have the proper testing to really identify what it is in their unique biochemistry that needs replenished to get the detoxification system working.

They may not have had the genetic testing to identify the genetic problems. They may not have a physician that has the level of expertise that is needed to suggest the appropriate tests or identify their weaknesses accurately.

Testing and supplements are expensive, and many people cannot afford to do all that is really needed to get to the bottom of the issue. For one reason or another they have not found all the pieces of the puzzle that will push them out of the sympathetic fight or flight and into the parasympathetic state where healing can take place.

Additionally, when the body is in the degenerative, sympathetic state then the detoxification system also becomes impaired. So once again, we have another catch Thus, once again, the goal in recovery must cover both the bases.

We must reduce exposure to toxin so the autonomic nervous system can return to the parasympathetic state and enhance the detoxification system, and also improve autonomic nervous system function so detoxification can improve. Again it goes both ways; environmental clean-up, internal clean up of toxins from organisms, healthy diet, nutritional supplements and exercise on one hand, with deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, yoga, or any alternative method that turns off the sympathetic nervous system are required.

One may be able to get into the parasympathetic regenerative mode through any or all of these paths. If the frontal lobes aren't working properly, then fight or flight cannot be regulated properly. They are released during times of stress to bring us back to the parasympathetic state. However, the problem is that toxins target the frontal lobes of the brain, thus inhibiting them from doing their job of helping us cope with the total stress load. Pesticides inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which causes a build up of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that runs our autonomic nervous system, thus resulting in a constant firing of the sympathetic nervous system.

However, it doesn't matter what the toxin is, be it mold mycotoxins, food sensitivity, lyme, gut, cavitations, heavy metals, pesticides or psychotropic street drugs or prescription medications. Each and every one of them target the frontal lobes of the brain. Not only does this frontal lobe damage keep the body in the sympathetic state, but it also results in diminished levels of neurotransmitter production and function, which compounds the problem even further.

Our inhibitory neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and GABA and hormones like cortisol and DHEA that are used for coping can't keep up, so they begin to diminish and are not available to us when we need them. Insufficient or out of balance neurotransmitters and hormones result in a long list of disruptive and sometimes debilitating symptoms like anxiety disorders, depression, hyperactivity, insomnia, impaired memory, learning and concentration and more.

As we mentioned earlier, cortisol is a hormone that the adrenal glands release to help us cope with stress. Thus, perpetuating the problem even further. Not having enough cortisol then puts even more stress on the body and thrusts you deeper into fight or flight. If this cycle continues for too long the neurotransmitters and hormones burn out.

Cortisol burnout leads to adrenal fatigue, which is commonly labeled as chronic fatigue syndrome. So toxins not only trigger your sympathetic nervous system thrusting you into fight or flight, but they also impair your built in back up system that is supposed to help you cope with the stress process and thus prevents you from returning to the parasympathetic state.

Additionally, the frontal lobes will also not work adequately if they are not receiving the proper nutrients needed for production, function and transmission. Neurotransmitters and hormones cannot be formed or function properly if the body is missing crucial nutrients like amino acids, fatty acids, b vitamins and minerals.

So once again we see the importance of assessing and replenishing nutrient status. The more deficient you are, the more dominant the sympathetic nervous system is likely to become. The goal in recovery of the frontal lobes is two pronged.

On one hand you must reduce the toxins you are exposed to so the frontal lobes can begin working properly again and you must also engage in therapies that help increase frontal lobe activity, like deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, yoga, art, music, humor, spending time with nature, meaningful relationships, biofeedback, nurturing movies and writing; anything that is nurturing and soothing.

Neural retraining or limbic system retraining is proving to be helpful in this process as well. We must reduce the toxins we are exposed to, while simultaneously trying to increase frontal lobe activity that will help us return to the parasympathetic state.

Frontal lobe health must be supported with a diet high in protein for amino acids, as amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters,, a healthy diet, nutritional support, and activities like mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises and time with nature. The ability to inhibit the sympathetic nervous system Locus ceruleus, excessive norepinephrine, amygdala and thus reduce chronic stress burnout from excessive fight or flight is dependent on the health of your brain.

To create a healthy brain it needs nutrition, good diet, detoxification and exercise. Yes, just like your body, your mind needs exercise, but brain exercise is achieved through mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, visualizations or neural retraining etc.

If you are exposed to a lot of toxins, then there is increased oxidative stress from phase I detoxification in order to detox these toxins.

Oxidation of the toxins burns. Therefore, high levels of oxidation lead to inflammation pain, swelling, redness. High levels of oxidation tears up your tissues. This is similar to the oxidative stress that we experience when our immune system protects us from threats like viruses, bacteria etc. It also increases inflammation. Both instances cause an increased level of oxidative stress and increased levels of inflammation.

It is the oxidation that is at the root of many generalized systemic inflammatory disorders like Fibromyalgia, arthritis etc. An ironic side-effect of what the body must do for itself to survive. The more toxins you are exposed to, then the higher the level of oxidation and the higher level of inflammation is likely to be.

The more infections you have to fight off, the higher your oxidation will be and the more inflammation there is likely to be. When you have both a high level of infections and a high levels of toxin exposure, then double the oxidation and inflammation. Say, for example, you have h pylori, candida overgrowth, lyme, or parasites.

Each of these emits toxins that the body must detox. Additionally, they trigger the immune system to protect itself. Therefore with these kinds of infections you are getting oxidation from the toxins and the immune reaction. Thus another double whammy that results in inflammation. So healing from toxicity involves not only healing from the toxin itself, but from the oxidation as well. High levels of antioxidants, like C, E and Coq10 are needed to contain the burn and reduce the inflammation.

Antioxidants are also anti-inflammatories because they reduce both the oxidation and the inflammation as a result. One of the ways toxins impact the immune system is through the development of haptens. A hapten is a "small molecule that can illicit an immune response only when attached to a large carrier such as protein.

Typically, only large molecules , infectious agents or insoluble foreign matter can elicit an immune response in the body. However, when the hapten attaches itself to the larger protein it is then enabled to do the same. Haptens then make proteins of self look like a foreign invader and the immune system attacks itself, thus we have autoimmune disorders. After the body has produced antibodies to fight off the hapten, the hapten may also attach itself to the antibody.

Alternatively, it may block an immune response to the carrier of the hapten, called hapten inhibition. Many toxins, bacteria, viruses etc. When haptens occur, it takes very little of the toxin to set off the immune response or the sympathetic nervous system. For example, lyme, heavy metals, candida yeast, mold, bacteria in a cavitation or the gut, halides, pertussis vaccine, babesia, malaria and pesticides are all known to have a hapten effect.

The toxin that is oxidized in phase I detoxification becomes the hapten. This immune stress then triggers the sympathetic nervous system and the body is in fight or flight.

One of the most common conditions associated with haptens is autism. It is believed that autism is often triggered by the hapten effect of mercury, and not the toxicity of the mercury itself.

There are many other contributing factors to autism as well, like candida, nutritional deficiencies, impaired detoxification, etc. People with autism and people with MCS have striking similarities. The thyroid and other glands are particularly vulnerable to haptens, and they often play a role in hashimotos. Then after the immune system attacks the thyroid for an extended period of time it leads to hypothyroidism. This means that heavy metals, candida or mold cause problems not only in their toxicity, but also in their hapten effect, giving two different assaults from one toxin.

For example, heavy metals can bind with iodine receptors, can impair neurotransmitters, can disrupt the endocrine system, impair methylation, and trigger an immune response with haptens.

The same applies to halides like bromine, fluoride and chlorine. Toxins also weaken the immune system by the free radicals that are produced by oxidizing of the toxins. So if there is a high level of toxins to be oxidized all the time, this will degrade the immune system. The hapten effect explains why very small amounts of a toxin can trigger an immune response and the sympathetic nervous system.

Many researchers get perplexed, saying that the amount of toxin is not enough to produce poor health, they are not taking the hapten effect into account. Sometimes it isn't the toxicity of the toxin that produces the symptoms, its the haptens that disrupt the immune system and trigger the autonomic nervous system.

Sometimes, the hapten effect is not experienced until several exposures. For example, a child in a mother's womb gets exposed to mercury because the mother eats mercury laden fish all the time. Then a couple months later they get a vaccine with mercury. The first exposure sensitized them and the second exposure is a stronger hit to their system and sets off the hapten effect. Or sometimes, it isn't until the third or fourth vaccination. One of the most common and confusing toxins in our society and one that is often overlooked are psychotropic toxins.

Psychotropic toxins are substances that alter the brain or in other words, mind-altering or mood altering substances. This would include both street drugs like marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, benzodiazepines, etc and prescription drugs like Xanax, Prozac, Ativan, as well as sugar, caffeine, nicotine, chocolate and carbohydrates, even complex carbohydrates like whole grains.

As we discussed throughout this page, the autonomic nervous system and neurotransmitters in the brain are impaired from toxins and results in the vast amount of psychological and physiological symptoms like MCS, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, headaches etc.

This often pushes the individuals to reach for psychotropic toxins in order to feel better. The most dangerous aspect of psychotropic toxins is that they temporarily relieve your symptoms, thus tricking you into believe they are making you better.

For example, nicotine mimics dopamine and acetylcholine, marijuana mimics dopamine and endocannabinoids, alcohol affects serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and GABA, opiods mimic endorphins and dopamine, while benzodiazapines mimic dopamine and GABA. They temporarily boost your neurotransmitters and turn off your sympathetic nervous system.

However, the brain then responds by making less neurotransmitters because it thinks it has enough. When they aren't present, then they can't counteract norepinephrine and turn off your sympathetic nervous system.

Thus a vicious cycle ensues. When neurotransmitter levels drop lower, then you become dependent on the psychotropic substance to bring them back up. The more you turn to the psychotropic toxins, the more your neurotransmitters become depleted and the more dominant your sympathetic nervous system becomes. More and more symptoms develop and mental and physical health continue to decline. Psychotropic drugs become a way of anesthetizing the autonomic nervous system.

Addicts of all kinds are unconsciously trying to restore balance to their brain chemistry, soothe their autonomic nervous system and find inner peace, which has been disrupted from toxins or stress, by using psychotropic chemicals to artificially stimulate their neurotransmitters.

Like all other toxins, the psychotropic toxins must be removed in order to return to the parasympathetic state. There cannot be improvement in psychiatric or physiological health if one remains dependent on psychotropic's. Psychotropic's take the brain, which is the captain of the ship for the autonomic nervous system, out of the ball game. Psychotropic impair this process. Without these neurotransmitters we cannot turn off fight or flight.

However, one's ability to give up the psychotropic toxins is highly dependent on the diet they eat, their nutritional status and the amount of toxins, both internal and external, they are exposed to; as each of these issues disrupts neurotransmitters and triggers the autonomic nervous system.

So once again, we see how recovery requires that the toxins be eliminated, the diet improved and the nutrients replenished. Nothing is unscathed by toxins; even our spiritual health is impacted. By spiritual I am referring to the level of meaning and purpose we have in life, our level of inner peace, and our relationship or connection with self, others and the Universe. It is very difficult to feel spiritually connected and maintain inner peace when you have depleted neurotransmitters and are continually in a state of fight or flight.

Thus your level of spiritual health can be greatly influenced by the state of your autonomic nervous system and frontal lobes. Many of the common spiritual practices, like meditation, that can enhance our health and life may be difficult to embrace in this debilitating state. This too is very much connected to toxicity and detoxification. For example, individuals who have a genetic polymorphism in their methylation gene, called catechol-o-methyltransferase, which would result in a reduced capacity to eliminate norepinephrine and toxins that results in an overstimulated sympathetic nervous system, often have difficulty with meditation.

On the other hand, like most aspects we have discussed on this page, inner peace and spirituality is a two way street. If you can increase your meaning, purpose, inner peace and connections to self, others and the Universe, this boosts neurotransmitters and has a soothing effect on the autonomic nervous system. Thus will help move you into the parasympathetic zone and promote healing. Once again, we see the two prongs of recovery.

On one hand toxins must be reduced, nutrients replenished, the detoxification system improved, while at the same time engaging in practices like meditation, deep breathing exercise, time with nature, music, yoga, etc.

Childhood abuse and neglect or other strong emotional traumas like war, domestic violence, living in poverty, a car accident, witnessing a murder, death of a love one or surviving a natural disaster, living with a chronic and degenerative health condition, impair the brain and the autonomic nervous system in the same manner as toxins and thrust the individual into fight or flight response and deplete neurotransmitters.

These are intensely stressful situations that trigger the locus ceruleus to release norepinephrine, that triggers the amygdala, that triggers the hypothalamus and so on and so forth, as I described in the opening paragraphs of this discussion. The impact of childhood abuse on the, brain, the endocrine system, and the limbic system has been studied extensively by Dr. Bruce Perry and others. I've written about this topic in more depth on the following page, Effects of Child Abuse.

However, my point in bringing it up in this discussion is to make you aware, that if any of these situations apply to you, then they may be the root of what made your autonomic nervous system vulnerable to dysfunction in the first place. For example, I lived with severe emotional, sexual and physical abuse as a child and I believe that was my original trauma that damaged my autonomic nervous system, thrust me into fight or flight and set me up for all the chronic health conditions that followed.

As my MCS began when I was There are some new and controversial approaches to healing MCS, CFS, FMS, EHS and other similar conditions associated with toxicity, on the scene called brain retraining, neural retraining, limbic retraining or amygdala training that are proving to be helpful for many people in returning the mind and body to the parasympathetic state.

The point you want to keep in mind is that both the Amygdala Retraining TM and the Dynamic Neural Retraining System TM are effective for the same reason that any other treatment method for MCS, CFS or EHS works; because they enable the individual to return to the parasympathetic state, which in turn enables the detoxification system to function properly. They are stimulating your frontal lobes, helping you make more of your coping and healing neurotransmitters and hormones and turning off the fight or flight response.

These programs use a variety of techniques like neuro-linguistic programming, visualizations, meditation, positive affirmations, self-hypnosis, yoga and others to achieve that goal. This does not mean that toxins are not harmful to us or that all the other contributing aspects that have been well researched and documented, like genetic polymorphisms in the cytochrome P, impairment in phase II detoxification, nutritional deficiencies, eating a healthy diet, addressing candida, living an environmentally friendly lifestyle etc.

In a nutshell, trauma from chemicals or other forms of stress, have resulted in pathways in the brain that keep us in a state of overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. It's a little more complicated than that, but that's the basic idea. Additionally, limbic system rewiring or retraining the amygdala works by using your neurotransmitters to form new pathways in your brain and turn off the overactive sympathetic nervous system.

As we see on this page, neurotransmitters and the autonomic nervous system are depleted and disrupted by all the factors we've just discussed. Therefore, if one does not have adequate neurotransmitters because of nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, candida, parasites, bacterial overgrowth, lyme, frequent exposure to environmental toxins, genetic polymorphisms etc, then they may not have enough neurotransmitters to form new neuronal pathways and their ability to rewire the brain and turn off the sympathetic nervous system can be impacted.

Each of these factors are perceived by the body as stress. Stress depletes your neurotransmitters. For those who are not seeing very good results with retraining the amygdala or neural retraining, this is probably the reason why. People who are able to get well quickly with these programs are likely to have fewer stressors, while those who take a long time have more stressors. If it doesn't work at all for you, then you likely have a bucket that is too full of stressors. Furthermore, as illustrated in my discussion above, the brain and the autonomic nervous system are impaired because of the toxins.

The thermostat is downstairs in the living room and the window is open on a very cold winter day. The living room is very cold, so the heater stays on. It never turns off because the temperature in the room where the thermostat is is very cold.

Meanwhile the bedrooms upstairs are extremely hot, unbearably so. This is a big problem; resulting in cold rooms, hot rooms and wasted energy. Inside of us, we all have a mechanism for controlling all of our bodily functions as conditions change from one moment to the next.

This control mechanism is called the autonomic nervous system ANS. Composed of two parts — the sympathetic nervous system SNS and the parasympathetic nervous system PNS — the ANS controls your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, pupil size, sweating, immune system, mucus production, caliber of the airways, blood sugar levels, adrenal hormone levels, digestive functions, your immune system and many other functions in your body.

Your heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, pupils enlarge, airways expand, the mucus production in your nose, throat, lungs and bowels cease, your blood sugar rises and your immune system is stimulated. Your body has been programmed through evolution to survive these situations by activating this SNS.

Where there is a gas pedal, there better be a brake, otherwise these functions would continue and your body would suffer harm. Some people have very sensitive autonomic nervous systems and can over react to external and internal stimuli. This situation one of the more common autoimmune nervous system problems called Autonomic dysfunction.

Autonomic dysfunction an over or under active system can lead to many different symptoms. For example, an overactive SNS or under active PNS can contribute to high blood pressure , palpitations, anxiety, constipation, ulcers, insomnia, high blood sugars, dry mouth, immune system problems and erectile dysfunction.

An overactive PNS or under active SNS can contribute to low blood pressure, fatigue, depression, diarrhea, ulcers, low blood sugars, anxiety, allergic reactions, asthma, sinus problems and watery eyes and nose. The autonomic nervous system is one of several homeostatic control mechanisms in you body. Homeostatic control mechanisms maintain stable internal conditions to compensate for changing external conditions.

When your body is unable to adequately compensate for changing external conditions, numerous autonomic nervous system problems can result.

If you think you may be suffering from autonomic imbalance, you can benefit from alternative holistic healing from MD Wellness by allowing us to find the root of the problem rather than just treating your symptoms.

There are many other specific minerals, amino acids and vitamins that can affect autonomic balance.

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