Stress — A Shifting of Resources

Also see:
Collection of FPS Charts
Low Carb Diet – Death to Metabolism
Can Endurance Sports Really Cause Harm? The Lipopolysaccharides of Endotoxemia and Their Effect on the Heart
Running on Empty
Exercise and Endotoxemia
Ray Peat, PhD on Endotoxin
Endotoxin: Poisoning from the Inside Out
Ray Peat, PhD: Quotes Relating to Exercise
Ray Peat, PhD and Concentric Exercise
Potential Adverse Cardiovascular Effects from Excessive Endurance Exercise
Bowel Toxins Accelerate Aging
Exercise Induced Stress
Carbohydrate Lowers Exercise Induced Stress
Sugar (Sucrose) Restrains the Stress Response
Low Blood Sugar Basics
Ray Peat, PhD on Low Blood Sugar & Stress Reaction
Arachidonic Acid’s Role in Stress and Shock
Blood Sugar – Resistance to Allergy and Shock
Shock Increases Estrogen
A long childhood feeds the hungry human brain

Your body manages its resources in relation to need. The chart below attempts to provide a visual of the manipulation of resources that occurs during stress.

Our physiology is designed to handle occasional stressors, but if the stressors are frequent or elevated in intensity then expect adverse consequences eventually. We can only borrow from other areas of the body to nourish others in a time of need so many times until the adaptive systems break down.

When the adaptive systems do break down, we experience symptoms of some sort. The symptoms are usually a result of a prolonged problem so have patience when attempting to correct them.

fps shift stress

Supporting Quotes:
“Digestion is quickly shut down during stress…The parasympathetic nervous system, perfect for all that calm, vegetative physiology, normally mediates the actions of digestion. Along comes stress: turn off parasympathetic, turn on the sympathetic, and forget about digestion.” -Robert Sapolsky

Quotes by Ray Peat, PhD:
“During moderate exercise, adrenalin causes increased blood flow to both the heart and the skeletal muscles, while decreasing the flow of blood to other organs. The increased circulation carries extra oxygen and nutrients to the working organs, while the deprivation of oxygen and glucose pushes the other organs to a catabolic balance. This simple circulatory pattern achieves to some extent the same kind of redistribution of resources, acutely, that is achieved in more prolonged stress by the actions of the glucocorticoids and their antagonists.”

“The intestine really is where people should be paying more attention because any kind of stress or shock reduces circulation to your intestine, and that makes it more permeable or “leaky”. And aspirin incidentally is now being studied as possibly the best defense against a leaky intestine, even though there is a tremendous amount of Tylenol-type propaganda saying “Don’t use aspirin, it makes your intestine leak”, but, in fact, it prevents endotoxin and bacterial movement from your intestine into your bloodstream.” (interview)

‎”Incidental stresses, such as strenuous exercise combined with fasting (e.g., running or working before eating breakfast) not only directly trigger the production of lactate and ammonia, they also are likely to increase the absorption of bacterial endotoxin from the intestine. Endotoxin is a ubiquitous and chronic stressor. It increases lactate and nitric oxide, poisoning mitochondrial respiration, precipitating the secretion of the adaptive stress hormones, which don’t always fully repair the cellular damage.”

“Bacterial endotoxin causes some of the same effects as adrenalin. When stress reduces circulation to the bowel, causing injury to the barrier function of the intestinal cells, endotoxin can enter the blood, contributing to a shock state, with further impairment of circulation.”

“The amount of injury needed to increase the endotoxin in the blood can be fairly minor. Two thirds of people having a colonoscopy had a significant increase in endotoxin in their blood, and intense exercise or anxiety will increase it. Endotoxin activates the enzyme that synthesizes estrogen while it decreases the formation of androgen (Christeff, et aI., 1992), and this undoubtedly is partly responsible for the large increases in estrogen in both men and women caused by trauma, sickness or excessive fatigue.”

“Our innate immune system is perfectly competent for handling our normal stress induced exposures to bacterial endotoxin, but as we accumulate the unstable fats, each exposure to endotoxin creates additional inflammatory stress by liberating stored fats. The brain has a very high concentration of complex fats, and is highly susceptible to the effects of lipid peroxidative stress, which become progressively worse as the unstable fats accumulate during aging.”

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2 Responses

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  1. Mandy says

    I’ve been having a a problem with anxiety and insomnia for over a year and I’m wondering if this could be my problem.. I was doing competitive Crossfit for 5 years when I started no carbing and within days I had insomnia.. So I added some carbs(just vegetables) and found I felt like crap and developed full blown anxiety at night..adrenaline rushes and insomnia that were 10 times worse if I had done any exercise that day… I’ve had echos, ekgs, cortisol and adrenal tests and I’ve been taking adrenal support for over a year.. I had to completely stop Crossfit and after months of no working out I still find that I have adrenaline rushes and insomnia at night even with a 15 min workout.. I’ve been eating oatmeal and vegetables but I wonder if not having enough carbs is still a problem. Does this sound like a problem with bacterial endotoxins? No one has been able to give me any answers as to why my body won’t allow me to exercise. Is there a way to test for this, and how can I reverse it?
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Mandy 34yr old female

  2. Team FPS says

    Hello Mandy,

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Yes, this blog applies directly to your situation and endotoxin among other things are likely involved. The inability to sleep is a sure sign of too little body resources to meet your demands (i.e. overtraining). Your physiology is energy bankrupt, and you don’t have any more adaptation reserves to spend beyond basic functioning.

    Spend less money on extraneous activity (like WODs) while you work on building up an energy bank account so you can regain your sleep quality/duration, re-establish hormone balance (your menstrual cycle may provide more clues), and regulate your blood sugar and support your liver.

    Training hard without carbohydrate isn’t recommended. The stress hormones will have to play a pivotal role in your daily function and eventually the resulting energy deficiency will result in problems like sleep issues. Good sleep is achieved through efficient energy production and a nourished liver with glycogen to use to provide support to the system while you’re sleeping. The first three blogs will help you connect some dots while the last link provides some very helpful tips for achieving better sleep.

    Low Carb Diet – Death to Metabolism

    Low Blood Sugar Basics

    Ray Peat, PhD on Low Blood Sugar & Stress Reaction

    10 Tips for Better Sleep

    Just eating carbohydrate isn’t enough to balance your blood sugar, which is a fundamental problem with a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Meals need to be comprised of both carbohydrate (something from a plant, preferably something sweet tasting) and a protein/fat (something derived from an animal). Vegetables and oatmeal won’t provide enough sugar you need to improve your energy levels. Think pulp-free orange juice, milk, ripe fruits, and well-cooked potatoes with butter and salt instead.

    Start charting your resting temperature and pulse rate so you can track how well you are re-establishing your energy levels. Improvement in your energy levels often coincides with improvement in symptom burden.

    Temperature and Pulse Basics & Monthly Log