Epigenetics: Stress In Relation To Chronic Disease | El Paso Health
How Stress Impacts Phase Angle

The endocrine system is very delicate and precise in the human body. The endocrine system is responsible for helping to control mood, growth, development, metabolism, how our organs work, and reproduction. The critical factor of the endocrine system is regulating how much of each hormone is released. This depends on how much of the hormone is already in the bloodstream and other substances like calcium. 


One of the main hormones the endocrine system is responsible for is cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone and also increases blood sugars, enhances the brain’s use of glucose, and increases the substances that repair tissue. Additionally, cortisol is the primary hormone in control of our flight-or-fight response. However, the circadian rhythm of cortisol should always be considered. Cortisol is one of the hormones that is released in cardigan rhythm. Cortisol is usually highest first thing in the morning, drops, and will plateau for most of the day until evening time before bed, where it will drop again. Performing lab work to assess cortisol levels is beneficial as cortisol is responsible for many daily functions. Cortisol is produced by the Zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex and is regulated by several factors. It is influenced by sleep patterns, light/dark exposure, and mealtimes. Cortisol also helps with widespread tissue damage like inflammation, illness, or an infection as well as plays a role in mental and emotional stress. To test our patient’s cortisol levels and patterns, we use a test from DUTCH. This test is called DUTCH Plus, and a sample report is shown below. This test allows us to track a patient’s rhythm for 24 hours as well as other hormones. 



As previously stated, cortisol is the main hormone for controlling stress. While stress is necessary for the human body to function, chronic stress puts your health at risk. The body’s stress response system is normally self-limiting, and once the threat is gone, the stress levels reduce, and the body syncs back into a level of homeostasis. However, when chronic stress is around, cortisol remains on and pumps into the system at a high rate. This long-term activation of stress overexposes the body to cortisol and other stress hormones that lead to problems such as: 

Digestive problems
Heart disease
Sleep problems
Weight gain
Memory and concentration impairment 
Phase Angle

The phase angle is how health care professionals can monitor the integrity of cellular membranes. If the phase angle begins to decline, it has been linked directly to a decline in overall health. Similar to if phase angle increases, overall health is increasing. The integrity of cellular membranes is essential as cell survival depends on solid membranes. When the cellular wall is weak, it can collapse. From here, it is difficult for the body to take up the proper nutrients it needs. Additionally, with a weak cellular membrane, the cell is left with little to no protection from outside invaders. Stress impacts phase angle by causing individuals to gain weight and decreasing overall health.

We monitor a patient’s phase angle with the use of the InBody 770. This advanced machine allows us to not only track the phase angle of our patients but many other areas of their health as well, including but not limited to intracellular and extracellular water. 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwbIsPNUYqs%5B/embedyt%5D



Keller A, Litzelman K, Wisk LE, Maddox T, Cheng ER, Creswell PD, Witt WP. Does the perception that stress affects health matter? The association with health and mortality. Health Psychol. 2012 Sep;31(5):677-84. doi: 10.1037/a0026743. Epub 2011 Dec 26. PMID: 22201278; PMCID: PMC3374921. 

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Stress Management Resources.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Feb. 2021, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/resources/hlv-20049495.   

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.  Read More…

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

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