10 Signs that Your Stress-Response System is Out of Balance

The stress-response system start at the brain.  The key components of the ‘stress system’ are the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). When the hypothalamus is triggered by a stressor, it elicits some reaction at the brain, involving some releasing-hormones that will drives the production of cortisol from the adrenal gland (glands located above kidneys).

Under normal conditions these systems are in balance. Imbalances with these system will cause dysfunction in perceiving the stress triggers, and then will cause imbalances in adrenal hormones (cortisol, pregnenolone, DHEA) production by adrenal gland.

Everyone, at some points, will experience events that challenge their stress-response system, which will affecting their health.

10 signs of impaired stress-response system are: 

  1. Blood sugar dysregulation. Experiences of dizziness, shakiness or brain fog between or following meals; headaches, sleepiness, mood swing if skipping meals; craving for caffeine or sweets at mid-afternoon; waking up & feeling hungry at 2-3 am.   
  2. Depression, anxiety, mood swing, irritable.
  3. Insomnia.
  4. Poor learning & short term memory.
  5. Poor wound healing & easy bruising.
  6. Pain syndromes, such as chronic headaches, back pain, muscle & joint pain.
  7. Immune dysfunction. Experiences of chronic low-grade infections, frequent illness, allergies.  
  8. Liver detoxification dysfunction, with symptoms such as general weakness, fatigue, digestive disturbances (e.g, constipation, nausea, vomiting), allergies & chemical sensitivities, weight loss, jaundice, mental confusion, general itching.
  9. Low thyroid hormone, with symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, increase sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, thinning hair, puffy face, muscle weakness/ache/tenderness/stiffness, joint pain/swelling/stiffness, high cholesterol, heavy or irregular menstruation, slow heart rate, depression, impaired memory.
  10. Premenstrual syndrome, with symptoms such as depression, irritability, mood swing, bloating, puffiness, cramping, migraine, poor sleeping, difficult to focus, joint aches.