allostatic load


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allostatic load

a term coined as a more precise alternative to the term stress, used to refer to environmental challenges that cause an organism to begin efforts to maintain stability (allostasis).

al·lo·stat·ic load

(al'ō-stat'ik lōd)
The physiologic consequences of adapting to repeated or chronic stress: can accelerate disease processes.
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The allostatic load index reflects the physiological consequences of exposure to chronic stress and has previously been used to measure health-related effects of work stress.
Lee (2013), "Embodiment of Minority Stress: Differences in Allostatic Load by Sexual Orientation Identity," paper at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.
The science of measuring allostatic load scores is a complex process based on physical readings of the body including measuring cardiovascular activity, rate of metabolism, high density lipoprotein (HDL), total cholesterol, blood plasma, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (McEwen, 1999).
The first type of allostatic load is simply too much stress in the form of repeated events that cause repeated elevations of stress mediators over long periods of time with insufficient relief.
This allostatic load may lead to the manifestation of psychological, emotional, behavioral, immune, or metabolic disorders that is often associated with a flattening of the diurnal cortisol curve and a lack of postpubertal sex differences.
234) When the law student reaches this allostatic load, "the stress-response can become [even] more damaging than the stressor.
Previous research has shown that higher levels of allostatic load are associated with increased likelihood of a negative health event such as a heart attack or stroke, or show declines in physical or cognitive functioning.
Allostatic load is generally measured through a composite index of indicators of cumulative strain on several organs and tissues, but especially on the cardiovascular system.
This is consistent with the concept of allostatic load that posits that overuse of systems designed to manage transient stress leads to impairment of the HPA function including a decrease in responsiveness to novel stressors and disturbance in the regulation of the key mediators.
Noise and stress-salivary cortisol as a non-invasive measure of allostatic load.
McEwen and Stellar (1993) embellished on the principle of allostasis by defining a new concept that these authors labeled allostatic load.