Genova Diagnostics
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  • Hormonal Health

The Stress Response, Women's Health and The Role of Adaptogens

April 25, 2018


A good night's sleep, while fundamental to maintaining health, is not sufficient to prevent the ill effects of the sustained physical and psychological stress that many of our women patients face. The frequent activation of the body's stress response leads to a state of chronic hypervigilance, unleashing a cascade of stress hormones and other stress-mediating physiological agents that can lead to a host of health conditions - metabolic syndrome, reproductive disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disorders, and many others.

The adaptogens are an important therapeutic category of botanicals that can reduce not only stress-related symptoms, but prevent or mitigate the long-term effects of stress on the body, thus reducing our allostatic load. They are used to promote a sense of well-being, improve energy and stamina, reduce fatigue, improve immunity, and enhance mental concentration, and promote hormonal balance due to their regulating effects on the HPA axis. In so doing they aid the body's innate ability, when thrown off by stressors, to recover homeostatic balance or homeostasis.

Learning Objectives
  • Review the impact of HPA axis dysregulation on women's health
  • Understand the concept of adaptogens
  • Discuss 5 common botanical adaptogens, their applications, safety, and potential herb-drug interactions