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Apr 27, 2019 20:52:50

Allostatic reality

by @vickenstein | 244 words | 🐣 | 218💌

Victoria Maung

Current day streak: 0🐣
Total posts: 218💌
Total words: 55041 (220 pages 📄)

Allostasis is the concept in pathophysiology that your body finds a new baseline of homeostasis upon physiological change. For example, when you drink alcohol, acute adaptations might include increased production of reactive oxidative species, but when consumed chronically, you'd deplete nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is ordinarily responsible for breaking down protein ethanol, and start storing increasing amounts of lipids in your liver, promoting fatty liver, or steatosis. Or in another example, when you ingest too many dietary lipids, the more likely it is that will will develop atherosclerotic plaques and your body will compensate for the narrowing of your blood flow by increasing your blood pressure, causing you to be perpetually hypotensive--your body's new normal.

This concept led me to think about people. Some people have allostatically adapted to surviving on five hours of sleep per night or undereating on a regular basis. And maybe there are genii in the world who have become successful at the expense of their health and happiness, but there are just as many people who would rather not sacrifice either of those, under any circumstances. 

The point is, sometimes we think that homeostasis, or the ideal baseline stats of our body, is the best place to be in life and that everyone should fall within the healthy range: "happy and healthy." But realistically, I'm finding out ever increasingly that more people exist according to their own allostatic values of "happy and healthy." (If any of that made sense...)

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