Education is never ending and vital in thorough, comprehensive care. I recently finished a paper on the subluxation complex written by chiropractor Dr. Joe Flesia. From there I spiraled into a series of papers on the subluxation complex and related topics. Out of those papers there is one that I want to go over. This is an expert review published in 2015 titled, “The organization of the stress system and its dysregulation in depressive illness” from the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry. This review discusses what happens when our bodies are going through the stress response. I have repeatedly said that I believe most mental illness diagnoses are not psychologically based but instead biologically based. Many times, what you are seeing in mental illness patients is an exaggerated stress response and early neurodegeneration. If you look at Parkinson’s patients 20-40 years before they are diagnosed most suffered from some form of mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Studies have shown that those with bipolar disorder are 3-4 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease later in life.
Let’s discuss stress. We can separate stress into four different categories: physical, mental/emotional, chemical, and autosuggestion. Physical stressors can be classified as physical injury, exercise or lack of exercise, surgery, infection, and over-exertion. Chemical stress is the number one cause of stress in the body and the majority of that comes from the food we put into the system. Chemical stress can also come from environmental toxins, heavy metals, and lack of nutrients. Mental/emotional stress is anything promotes feelings of negativity such as fears, a traumatic experience, or financial strains. The last form of stress comes from autosuggestion which is when the brain forms pathways through repetition that can represent a positive or negative idea. The nervous system becomes what it receives on a regular basis. The longer this idea is repeated the stronger the pathway becomes and therefore the harder it is to remove if that pathway is negative.
A prolonged stress response will ultimately cause negative effects at the cellular level. The cell contains various organelles that do the work for the cell. One of the many organelles in the cell is called the Endoplasmic Reticulum. The endoplasmic reticulum is responsible for the production of proteins to be utilized in and outside the cell. These proteins that are being made are determined by the gene which is being influenced by the epigenetics. Therefore, epigenetics controls genetics, not the other way around. Yes, you can still have a genetic glitch, but most issues are created by epigenetics. In times of extreme stress, the body will over excrete glutamate and other compounds that can result in the hyperexcitability of neurons and create a higher demand for more proteins. Studies have shown that in diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s there is a correlation between the disease and an accumulation of protein. This will cause the endoplasmic reticulum to become stressed in which there is an imbalance between the demand of the cell and the capacity that the endoplasmic reticulum can function at. This increases the protein folding demand and the accumulation of unfolded/misfolded proteins. Chronic endoplasmic reticulum stress can signal certain cells to damage and kill other cells in the body to bring the body back to homeostasis. Increasing evidence is showing that metabolic disorders, such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, and age-associated pathogenesis are associated with prolonged endoplasmic reticulum stress.
It is important to understand cellular stress to positively influence diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, and auto immune. We do this by understanding your stressors and developing an individualized plan of action to help you get to a more optimal level of function. If you have any questions on this, please call the office. God bless you and your family.