THE STRESS THEORY OF DISEASE
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2024, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is solely the opinion of the author and for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The stress theory of disease is an integrated theory of how our bodies respond to the environment in order to survive. The man who first proposed it was Hans Selye, MD (1907-1982).
It theorizes three stages of stress and the general adaptation syndrome or G.A.S.
THE UNITY OF ALL DISEASE
Selye’s research showed that all types of stressors cause similar changes in the body. This was an enormous medical breakthrough!
Doctors are still taught the opposite – that there are thousands of diseases.
JANOS “HANS” SELYE, MD
This article is about the work of Janos “Hans” Selye, MD (1907-1982). It is very important research that would revolutionize medical care.
Dr. Selye was born in Komaron, Hungary, now called Komarno, Slovakia. He grew up and was educated in a Benedictine Monastery. He then went to medical school in Prague, Czech Republic. He spent the better part of his adult life working at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Dr. Selye spoke eight languages fluently and was most proud of his Magyar Hungarian heritage. He was brilliant and wrote 40 books and over 1700 medical papers.
He probably received more awards in medicine than any other physician. He worked 10 to 14 hours per day, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays.
Some of the terms he coined have come into general use such as stress, adaptation and others. He is one of the main founders of modern development science. However, his work is not taught correctly to physicians. We hope this article will help.
II. THE STAGES OF STRESS
According to Dr. Selye, the body passes through three stages of stress, as he called them. These he called alarm, resistance and exhaustion. Then the body dies.
Each stage is worse than the previous one, meaning one has less adaptive energy. Each stage has a set of so-called “diseases” associated with it. Really, all they are is various manifestations of problems associated with each stage of stress.
MEASURING THE STAGES OF STRESS
Dr. Selye used anatomical and physiological markers to assess the stages of stress. He killed and dissected his rats to figure out their stage of stress. However, to the best of my knowledge, he did not figure out a complete way for physicians to measure the stage of stress using methods such as blood tests.
Dr. Eck found he could measure the stages precisely and mathematically using hair mineral testing. He believed the correlation between the oxidation rate and the stages of stress was roughly:
- Fast oxidation corresponds to the alarm stage.
- Slow oxidation roughly corresponds to the resistance and exhaustion stage of stress.
More recently, we think that slow oxidation corresponds to the resistance stage and that four lows pattern on a hair mineral test corresponds to the exhaustion stage.
As one moves through the stages, one’s ability to adapt or cope with stress diminishes.
III. THE GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME
Dr Selye called the process of moving through the stages of stress the general adaptation syndrome. Basically, the body adapts to these stages of stress. This means that it changes itself in order to cope with the stress level. The changes involve the nervous system, nutrient levels, cholesterol level, and the levels of thousands of other chemicals, hormones and more.
IV. OTHER TOPICS
IMPORTANCE OF THE ADRENAL GLANDS
Dr. Selye identified the adrenal glands as central to the stages of stress. The adrenals are sometimes called the stress glands because they secrete anti-stress hormones.
STRESS THEORY AND MEDICAL CARE
This theory unifies health care and makes less necessary the thousands of labels that doctors use to describe symptoms. Once one understands the principles of the stress theory, one can correct dozens of symptoms at the same time without drugs or remedies of any kind. Just correct the stage of stress and the problems that go with it disappear.
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND THE STRESS THEORY
The stress theory is used extensively in development programs, in conjunction with related concepts such as metabolic typing and yang and yin.
Dr. Selye did not explore in much detail the nutritional problems associated with each of the stages of stress. This research was done later by Dr. George Watson, Dr. Paul Eck and others. However, this knowledge is also vital for moving a body from a less desirable stage of stress to a more desirable stage.
For more details, read Understanding Stress and The Theory Of Development.
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