Friday, January 15, 2021

Difference Between Chronic and Acute Stress (Examples)


I have realized that there is a difference between chronic stress and acute stress. Chronic stress is a form of stress with i.a. increase secretion of catecholamines. Epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (nor adrenaline) belong to the group of Catecholamine.

  • What kind of health trouble can it cause ?
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • High blood sugar

Acute stress is another type of stress with low level of inter alia epinephrine. Therefore I think that the word “stress” Must be clarified between chronic & acute and naturally the treatment is according to the type of stress. If we give patients with chronic stress “classic” anti-stress supplements such as amino acids f.e. Tyrosine, L-Theanine, GABA, 5-HTP or protein powders, the situation of chronic stress will get worse . Catecholamine will be stimulate and the secretion increases. In this case it is better for the body to give something which the catecholamines level typical of chronic stress decreases.

Chronic Stress-induced Hyperglycemia

It is not a matter of hyperglycemia type diabetes mellitus where carbohydrates increase blood sugar but a sort of stress-induced hyperglycemia with a high blood sugar caused from too much epinephrine.

Carbohydrates Reduce High Blood Sugar Level – Coincidence ?

On the topic of Hyperglycemia conditions I would like to share a case of mine successfully. Mrs G.A. presented to me with chronic stress induced high blood sugar and including heart hurry. Starting in July 2005, a blood sugar diary has been kept by the patient in the hope of being able to better understand everything — and also so that I could prepare a therapy concept: Because neither the family doctor nor various dieticians to whom I described the case were able to explain this “paradox” blood sugar values, which were reduced with carbohydrates and whereby the blood sugar values skyrocketed, e.g. after 2 glasses of soybean milk or other protein-rich foods. After consulting a stress researcher (endocrinologist) in Europe/Austria Prof. Sepp Porta, University of Graz, I was able somehow to understand, but not completely how it works. He knew that carbohydrates decrease blood sugar in chronic stress situations. Carbohydrate such as sugar, syrup, fruit juice (f.e. grape juice) reduce the epinephrine secretion and this decrease stress-induced hyperglycemia or other stress-symptoms.

Also by other researchers f.e. Yvonne Ulrich-Lai, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, USA says sugar (= Carbohydrate) the stress hormones secretion decrease.

Another Example with Chronic Stress

A business young women had too much stress. She worked 12-14 hours per day and her body has no chance or time to relax. She drank very much and very strong coffee also inter evenings. She took one meal per day only in the evening. After a while she became cardiac arrhythmias and heart hurry. This was the answer, reaction to this chronic stress (long-term). Doctors could not find out what was wrong with her. Patient was in good conditions. A connection with chronic stress & her way of life could not find out. I advised her to eat same sugar or any other carbohydrates as “rescue” in case of emergency. Her heart`s troubles would less and less and then disappeared. Now the patient will be treated with several nutritions besides 100 mg Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA from fish oil). At the moment her heart beats are o.k. . Unfortunately she doesn’t want to change her style of life and sooner or later stress will choose another way.

Carbohydrates May be a Help for Chemical Sensible People

This sort of patients have reactions to pesticides, perfume, deodorant, household cleaning products, toner and cigarette smoke etc., because this environmental exposure to chemical substances and pollutants causes chronic stress. The people get f.e. headaches, disorientation, muscle and joint pain, mood disturbances, short-term memory problems dizziness, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath. Also in this case I was able to help such patients giving them carbohydrates DHA and several other orthomolecular nutritions. Reaction intensity decreased and the treatment was successful.

Docosahexaenoic Acid — Support for Chronic Stress From the Sea

DHA is in our food present in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) an omega-3 chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, it reduces high level of chronic stress-induced nor-epinephrine.

The anti-stress effects of DHA were tested at the Toyama Medical & Pharmaceutical University in Japan. The norepinephrine concentration, by students under a continuous stress of final exams that lasted for 8 weeks was significantly decreased.

DHA takes effect as well as carbohydrates. Both of them help to reduce stress symptoms 100 mg/day from fish oil or algae are enough and the body can cope better with chronic stress.

Nutrition Consultation

  • Protein in form of yoghurt, cheese or other milk products, fish, meat und protein-drinks increase catecholamines.
  • Carbohydrates such as bread, grain (f.e. rice, millet, quinoa, sweet corn), fruits decrease catecholamines.

When in case of chronic stress patients eat a lot of proteins by the daily food this can cause several troubles or worsen already existing bad conditions. Therefore it is advisable to eat carbohydrates in combination with proteins during each meal.


  • 1. Ulrich-Lai Yvonne M; Ostrander Michelle M; Thomas Ingrid M; Packard Benjamin A; Furay Amy R; Dolgas C Mark; Van Hooren Daniella C; Figueiredo Helmer F; Mueller Nancy K; Choi Dennis C; Herman James P
  • Daily limited access to sweetened drink attenuates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis stress responses.
  • Endocrinology 2007;148(4):1823-34.
  • 2. Mayumi Watanabe; Chikako Tomiyama-Miyaji; Eisuke Kainuma; Masashi Inoue; Yuh Kuwano; Hongwei Ren; Jiwei Shen and Toru Abo, Role of a-adrenergic stimulus in stress-induced modulation of body temperature, blood glucose and innate immunity, Immunology Letters, Volume 115, Issue 1, 15 January 2008, Pages 43-49.
Emily Murdoch
Hi I write about health and fitness for women! You may contact me at

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