Stressful Thoughts and Sugar.
“Some planets rolled in those openings on the side of my head. I haven’t heard anything for years. Whenever I see a mouth moving in front of me I just assume someone is saying something brilliant and then go on about my day feeling very secure.” Sant Tukaram
How you feel about the people around you, as well as how you ‘choose’ to interpret their behavior, can make a big difference to the state of your physiology and therefore your health, however enough sugar certainly can be helpful.
One way stressful thoughts can interfere with metabolic health relates to the way they can impact upon thyroid energy system function, and there are a number of ways to argue the case.
As a starting point that is as good as any, emotional distress will immediately increase the metabolic requirement for energy and also more quickly use up glycogen (blood glucose) stores. It’s quite difficult to dispute that.
The next thing that happens is that cortisol and adrenaline increase in order to help with the provision of alternative fuel sources, as they become necessary due to the reduction in sugar availability.
One of the main jobs of cortisol in the face of rising demand placed on the system (unable to be met by dwindling glycogen stores), is to start converting muscle tissue into sugar so that sugar is never completely unavailable. No matter what, sugar will be provided.
A role played by adrenaline is the mobilization of free fatty acids into circulation in the blood, also to provide an alternative fuel source and reduce the requirement for glucose. The release of fat as free fatty acids (particularly polyunsaturated fat) slows down thyroid energy system metabolism.
It’s true that the conversion of muscle, the release of fat into circulation, and the slowing down of thyroid metabolism can be seen as a protective response, preventing serious immediate consequences including the rapid wastage of valuable muscle as well as other tissue in glands and eventually organs.
But excessive exposure to polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) can turn a biological antidote to periods of temporary hardship or lack of optimal energy availability, into a self-perpetuating and chronic inflammatory stress state.
The PUFAs when released into the blood are known to increase exposure to many substances which interfere with thyroid function, and also make it far more difficult for thyroid energy systems to return to optimal function when conditions improve.
High consumption of PUFAs have probably only been a thing for the last few decades, and any excess sugar that can’t be used immediately or stored as glycogen, gets converted into the safe anti-inflammatory fats and stored for later use.
Unlike the PUFAs, the saturated and other fats made by the body help to ensure the effects of stress are reasonably self-limiting, allowing for the return to more optimal and efficient metabolic function when conditions improve.
Many of the stress substances that rise under the inflammatory conditions promoted by PUFAs are known to be able to impact state of mind quite powerfully, worsening perceived threat levels, multiplying the severity and ongoing nature of physiological damage resulting from stress.
Apart from having what science has shown is a causative role in the development of chronically raised inflammation, the PUFAs and their breakdown products are also known to promote a systemic increase in levels of other inflammatory stress substances including bacterial endotoxin, serotonin, estrogen, cortisol, and nitric oxide.
These stress substances are directly involved in interference with thyroid energy system function, and have also been associated with increased aggressive and violent behavior, anxiety, and symptoms of depression and other mental dysregulation issues.
It isn’t difficult to see how energy metabolism interference can powerfully impact upon the way a person perceives their environment. But looking at biology from another angle, it’s clear that the way a person perceives their environment also powerfully impacts upon thyroid energy metabolism, and round and round we go.
It’s helpful to discover that consumption of simple carbohydrates – from milk, sweet fruit, fruit juice, honey or white sugar – can provide some protection from the effects of stress.
One obvious way this happens is via the suppression of cortisol and adrenaline, followed by a reduction in the release of fats (especially PUFAs) from storage.
This can then help thyroid energy systems run at a more optimal level, and assist with digestion, limiting exposure to inflammatory mood altering substances like serotonin and estrogen as well as nitric oxide and bacterial endotoxin.
Many of these substances rise in the intestines because of digestive irritation from interference with metabolism, and it’s no surprise to anyone how much digestion can alter state of mind.
But it’s possibly even more empowering to discover that if you can find ways to change how you perceive your environment, that’s another potentially effective way to improve metabolic function and lower exposure to inflammatory substances. A bit like a vicious circle but in reverse.
I am not attempting to diminish the relevance of the impact of specific trauma experienced, however I do believe that it is true that exposure to numerous environmental toxins and harmful ingredients added to foods, can have a considerable effect on the ability to withstand periods of emotional hardship and return to normal metabolic function when conditions change.
And I believe the same is also true when it comes to making choices with regards to the kinds of thoughts and feelings that are encouraged, and the thoughts and feelings that are left alone to float away.
In today’s world it can be very difficult if not impossible to avoid being subjected to poor quality harmful foods and environmental poisons, but at least stressful thoughts and what a person decides to do with them, is an area that has great potential for improvement.
Sugar and improved energy metabolism function not only improves the composition of fat in the body, I believe excess sugar can also help change the composition of thoughts, from inflammatory towards pro-metabolic.
It is unfortunate – as well as a little ironic – that at a time when the requirement for the use of supplemental sugar (in combination with the provision of other basic nutritional needs) for both therapeutic and protective purposes, seems greater than ever before, anti-sugar rhetoric and propaganda promoting sugar avoidance is increasingly commonplace.
Copyright 2021, by Dan M @ CowsEatGrass. All rights reserved (except for quotations and images having their own protected copyrights). This copyright protects author-publisher Dan M’s right to future publication of his work in any manner, in any and all media — utilizing technology now known or hereafter devised — throughout the world in perpetuity. Everything described in this publication is for information purposes only. The author-publisher, Dan M, is not directly or indirectly presenting or recommending any part of this publication’s data as a diagnosis or prescription for any ailment of any reader. If anyone uses this information without the advice of their professional health adviser, they are prescribing for themselves, and the author- publisher assumes no responsibility or liability. Persons using any of this data do so at their own risk and must take personal responsibility for what they don’t know as well as for what they do know.
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