toxic stress

Allostatic Load and Stress-Related Disease

Diane
Allostatic load (AL) is a term used to describe the cumulative physiological wear and tear that results from repeated efforts to adapt to stressors over time. Unlike other psychobiological models of stress that focus on a single outcome variable (e.g., cortisol) or physiological system (e.g., the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal –HPA- axis), the AL model emphasizes multi-system dysregulation. By combining multiple biological risk factors into a composite score, risk for a variety of stress-exacerbated diseases can be assessed in healthy individuals prior to signs and symptoms of clinical disease. Also, use of a composite AL may allow for quantification of stress burden across