Chronic stress creates chronically high blood sugar, which the body has 3 choices:
1) Let sugar stay high in the blood, creating damage (glycation or caramelization of the blood vessels), which leads to cracked blood vessels and then internal bleeding (very bad). This is where atherosclerotic plaques form, because the cholesterol rushes to the areas of damage and inflammation to ‘plug up’ the holes.
2) Throw the sugar into the fat cells to create obesity. This is better than having damaged blood vessels, but creates it’s own problems, both for health and cultural stress and social pressure for those who have obesity.
3) Throw the sugars in the muscles to be burned quickly, using the fast, but inefficient energy burning system (anaerobic glycolysis), which creates only 2 unite of energy (ATP) and 2 unites of “smoke” (lactic acid). Compared to the highly efficient, but slow starting energy system of the cell’s electricity plant (the mitochondria), which makes 36 unites of energy (38 if it’s in the liver) and no smoke (no lactic acid).
If your body goes down path #3, you will have chronic burning muscle pain from all the lactic acid that builds up (fibromyalgia), be tired all the time from only having 2 units of energy, not 36. Being tired all the time is called chronic fatigue. You may also experience depression because all the B-vitamins are used up in the quick-burning energy cycle, leaving you with few B-vitamins to convert L-Tryptophan into serotonin, your body’s feel-good neurotransmitter. Lastly, you may have insomnia because you don’t have enough B-vitamins to convert serotonin into Melatonin.
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