Long term decreased circulation impairs cell function.
The first cells to feel this are often on the gut lining.
Gut cells rely on signals from the brain and vagus nerve to tell them what molecules to release.
Eating, digesting and absorbing food is a parasympathetic chill mode function.
When you’re stuck in fight or flight mode signaling for proper digestion becomes impaired over time.
Release of histamines, stomach acid and enzymes decreases.
Signals of hunger and full dissipate.
Absorption of key nutrients like amino acids, B12, folate, and iron decrease.
At the same time a stressed body is often triggered to breathe shallow and through the mouth vs the nose.
This change in breathing decreases nitric oxide production that’s triggered in the nasal passages, causing increased blood pressure and heart rate.
Signs of long term stress impacting the body show up like…
- Gut issues
- Slowing metabolism
- Hair loss
- Muscle wasting
- Hormone imbalances
At the same time chronic stress decreases uptake of …
- Glucose (sugar) into the cells for energy
- T3, the most potent thyroid hormone for metabolism
- B vitamins, like B2 and B3 to help with energy making
- B6 for hormone balancing and hundreds of metabolic functions
- Magnesium to support using sugars for energy
- Iron to carry oxygen throughout the blood stream
These nutrient deficiencies can lead to a host of other complications.
Excess glucose converts to fat and is stored in the liver to cause fatty liver disease.
The fattier the liver, the more it’s bogged down and contributes to decreased hormone detox and weight gain.
Most people are not aware this is happening and labs do not show liver damage until this process is more advanced.
A clue into the liver being bogged down or inflamed is when one has any of the following in the blood…
- hormone imbalances
- a hemoglobin a1c over 5.7
- fasting glucose over 100
- elevated c-reactive protein
- increased homocysteine
- high ferritin levels
- elevated liver enzymes
- elevated triglycerides
- low vitamin D
After the gut and liver cells start to show signs of distress the thyroid and systemic cells will follow.
Common signs the thyroid and cells in metabolic distress…
- hair loss
- cold hands and feet
- dry skin and hair
- brittle nails
- weight not reducing or weight gain
Hypothyroid symptoms show up when the cells do not uptake T3 effectively creating a condition called cellular hypothyroidism.
Many are treated with medication for the thyroid that is synthetic T4, when they may actually need the hormone T2 or T3 in a blend or on their own.
Plus selenium, magnesium and oxygen boosting herbs or breath work are often overlooked as supportive therapies for metabolic health.
In many cases, medication isn’t the answer for the thyroid
As time goes on, it becomes harder for cells to clear byproducts of energy making when they are depleted of the nutrients and minerals needed to take out cell trash (aka oxidative stress).
The more cell trash that builds up in the cells, the harder it is for them to repair and make energy.
High histamine foods, alcohol, chemicals and allergens in the environment can trigger elevated histamine, the body’s natural “alert” neurochemical.
While histamine is needed to start processes such as digestion and wound healing, it can also trigger the cells to become or remain inflamed more easily when they are not able to detox.
Eventually the cells reach a point that they can no longer detox effectively…
…at this point, the body will attempt to remove them but this process can go too far, where the body over-attacks it’s cells and creates autoimmune conditions.
The good news is all of these things can be reversed if caught in early enough stages.
Not too long ago I emailed about an epiphany I had about the liver and it’s connection to hormone imbalances and now I keep seeing more and more clues.
When liver cells are impaired they have trouble detoxing hormones and producing glutathione.
Glutathione is the body’s natural antioxidant and it’s in charge of keeping the cell’s detoxing regularly.
Signs of low glutathione…
- decreased tolerance or break though bleeding with bio-identical hormones
- increased histamine reactions – rashes, redness, sun rashes
- increased food, chemical and environmental sensitivities
- increased constipation and gallbladder issues and pain
- decreased immune function
- decreased tolerance of supplements, herbs or medications
Clearly there’s a lot going on here!
The big take-a-way from my 3 phase theory?
Stress => decreased circulation => decreased organ and cell function => hormone imbalances, fatigue and weight gain over time.
You have the ability to interrupt this process.
There are labs to identify what’s going on and you can self request these too if your doc won’t order them.
I hope my theory has helped you to see some of the process of aging more clearly and where there are options to intervene.
Have a great weekend!
Here’s to your health,