How does the chronic stress response degrades the endocrine system?


The endocrine cascade- stress, poor diet, poor digestion, toxins, dehydration, fat and mineral deficiency can lead to a cascade of events!  I would know. 

Blood sugar imbalances can lead to hormone imbalances as the adrenals are called upon for an emergency which takes priority over all other functions in the body including immune and digestion.  The pituitary sends signals to the adrenals and thyroid – so when adrenals are needed to respond for an emergency then the thyroid is put on the back burner.  Once the adrenals are taking the priority over other hormone functions then they steal nutrients away from the other hormone production as the thyroid and sex hormones- even if the perceived “emergency” is from over consuming refined carbohydrates and sugar or chronic work/life stress! 

1. The endocrine cascade = stress, toxins, poor diet, poor digestion, mineral deficiencies, EFA Deficiency and Dehydration

2. Blood sugar imbalances – adrenals – pituitary – thyroid – sex hormones

3. Thyroid health – sensitive to stress and toxins:

  1. Heavy metals
  2. Foreign substances
  3. Drugs as aspirin
  4. Food allergies
  5. Endocrine imbalances

Chronic stress= chronic output of cortisol

Chronically high cortisol – impacts:

  1. Insulin resistance – excess sugar in the bloodstream and excess demands of the pancreas needing to release hormone insulin to move glucose out of bloodstream into cell (including fat cells)
  2. Low T3 (liver converts T4 inactive form to T3 the active form)
  3. Adrenal exhaustion – Low DHEA, low progesterone will result from the body’s innate intelligence to prioritize “emergencies” over regular functions/activities of the body.
  4. AE – Abnormal progesterone estrogen ratio
  5. Leads to Pituitary imbalance– as the hypothalamus tells the pituitary to tell which endocrine gland to release which hormones… HPA Axis dysregulation




Debbie Potts

Fitness Forward Studio

Host of ‘The WHOLE Athlete’ Podcast

Author of ‘LIFE IS NOT A RACE’ & ‘The WHOLESTIC Method’ on Amazon

Nutritional Therapy Practitioner -7/17


118 105th Ave NE

Bellevue, WA 98004