HPA Axis Stress: Controversies, Conundrums and Opportunities
11th February 2021
Wednesday February 17: 3:00pm – 4:15 pm EST
Presented by: Thomas Guilliams, Ph.D
Many functional and integrative medicine professionals were introduced to the world of HPA axis dysfunction through the lens of “Adrenal Fatigue.” While I (and others) have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to reframe the stress-response using different language, this is much more than a dispute over nomenclature. Understanding how the stress response works and adapts to stressors over time is really the key to forming a comprehensive strategy to build a resilience against the consequences caused by stressors. This is also the foundation needed to understand how to interpret tests which are designed to assess HPA axis function. However, beyond this re-assessment of nomenclature (debunking a few incorrect theories about adrenal function and hormone intermediates along the way), it is imperative for the clinician to understand that the HPA axis is much more than just a regulator of “stress” responses. The HPA axis is one of the most important regulators of normal function, most especially resource management (think energy, but much more than this) and circadian synchronicity. We will explore some of this as we understand how stress can hijack these functions, compromise the efficiency of metabolic processes, and leave us vulnerable to chronic disease.
Webinar presentation objectives include:
- Discuss how “Adrenal Fatigue” incorrectly frames HPA axis dysfunction by reviewing the how stressors control brain function.
- Expand our understanding of the role of the HPA axis in metabolic and circadian signaling.
- Debunk the notion of “pregnenolone steal” as an explanation for low DHEA (or other hormones) in stressed individuals.
- Overview a valuable resource for understanding the HPA axis and therapeutic options for stress management.