“Pathological” stress is not limited to discomfort or a disturbance in quality of life. It is now considered to be a major risk factor for several diseases (cardiovascular, metabolic or immune diseases).

Three clinical and pathophysiological stages of pathological stress have been observed:

  • The “fight or flight” stage, during which the emergency biological and physiological defence mechanisms are mobilised;
  • The “resistance” stage, during which the organism modifies its adaptation to the stress agent by mobilising the adrenocortical response and the production of cortisol which progressively increases;
  • The “exhaustion” stage, which is inexorably reached if the stress is consistent in duration or intensity, or if the biological and physical resources of the individual prove to be inefficient;

Functional and nutritional biology is used to estimate a patient’s stress level thanks to an objective biological evaluation of intensity, stage and development of stress to better manage this little-known risk factor.

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