Allostasis & Allostatic Load – Key Concepts In Health & Disease


Allostasis & Allostatic Load – Key Concepts In Health & Disease


A short (9 page) PDF introducing key concepts: allostasis, allostatic load, vulnerability, resilience. A document Alex often gives to new clients to help them understand, from a broader perspective, what may be contributing to their health issues, and some of the ways we can experience improvement in our health.


Key Concepts

“If we want to perform at our best, in any area of life, we need to maintain allostasis, manage our allostatic load, strengthen our resilience, all of which will result in reducing our vulnerability”

The intention of this short 9-page PDF is to introduce you to these key terms, which I see as essential when wanting to: (a) understand our current state of health, and (b) seek improvement in our health, and (c) maintain good health.

Often people come to me because Functional Medicine describes itself as root cause medicine. As in, it’s all about finding the root cause of your disease and ‘treating’ it. But time and time again research indicates that often disease is an accumulative state – diet, activity levels, sleep, relationships, beliefs…you name it! Another way of thinking about this, is often disease is a ‘stressed state’.

In fact a paper discussing Multiple Sclerosis sates:

“The accumulation of these different agents as well as their interactions probably contribute to the development of the disease”

The different agents the author was referring to included infections, climate/sunlight exposure/vitamin D, smoking, obesity, diet, salt intake.

So if we don’t necessarily need to know the root cause (sometimes we simply can’t identify it) what do we do? We build resilience through foundational lifestyle changes/factors that contribute to well-being: sleep, stress, exercise, diet, supplementation, mindset/beliefs, purpose, pleasure/play.

All these have scientific evidence behind them in building our resilience, health, well-being.