What is Allostatic load?
Allostatic load refers to the long-term effects of continued exposure to chronic stress on the body. Colloquially, it is often referred to as ‘wear and tear.’
In more simple terms – Allostatic Load (AL) to Lifestyle Diseases (LSDs) is, what a mosquito sting to Dengue is.
Every time a mosquito stings, you may not get Dengue, but without a mosquito sting you cannot get Dengue. Similarly, AL doesn’t mean LSD, but without AL, there is no chance of LSD.
In order to understand Allostatic load, you need to familiarise with –
- Homeostasis: It is tendency of the body to maintain parameters like body temperature, blood sugar, heart rate etc. at ideal levels irrespective of outside environment. It involves adaptation and change in response to environmental factors.
- Allostasis: The body has to make an effort to maintain this homeostasis and the effort required in maintaining homeostasis is called Allostasis.
Allostatic load and LSDs:
Like said above, Allostatic load is the accumulation of this ‘wear and tear’, which shows up as a Lifestyle Disease and is influenced by both physiological measurements like Lipid Profile and physical measurements like waist/hip ratio.
LDL of 140 and Triglycerides of 145, individually, are not a health risk because both are below normal. But both of them are considered to be higher than normal and if they occur together, the body has to make an extra effort to restore normalcy and in the process, it suffers more ‘wear and tear’.
So if more parameters are in higher than normal range, allostatic load increases and causes a greater damage to vital organs of the body, which eventually leads to Lifestyle Diseases (LSDs).
Often, sedentary lifestyle is blamed for the present spurt in LSDs. If this were true, the Naxal leaders, who trek for miles together, would not have become Diabetic.
Stress as a cause of LSDs also cannot stand scrutiny, because housewives are as prone to LSDs as executives of firms. Age as a factor for LSDs is long forgotten, because LSDs do not spare even young people. So the most plausible explanation for spurt in LSDs is Allostatic Load caused by Insulin Resistance (IR).
Here’s how we can help you:
- We make a allostatic report for you based on your medical reports and identify areas that can be reduced or even contained with nutrition
- We make nutrition plans that support your medical conditions and your medications more effective
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