Allostasis - how your body self-regulates

Allostasis - how your body self-regulates

Allostosis is a term you may not have heard about. However, it affects one of the most basic principles on which your body functions, so tune in. 

I have spoken extensively about homeostasis. Homeostasis is the need of the human body to always be in balance. Balance in this case means to live or exist within its limits or needs. 

So, for example, your heart likes to beat at 72 beats per minute. Your blood, on the whole, likes to flow at a pressure of 120/80. Whatever happens, your body goes to great lengths to keep itself within these limits. 

So much so that it will flood your body with hormones and chemicals and even make you sick and rest if this balance is affected. 

So then, what is allostosis? 

Allostosis is the ability of the body to self-regulate and perhaps even adjust or change these limits. 

The principle need of the body is energy. So imagine the body trying to self-regulate within its need for energy. 

You go on a fast. The body has to adjust to that. You are traveling on holiday. Indulgence is the catch phrase, and there is plenty of eating and drinking. Your body has to adjust. 

Allostosis is the process by which your body goes through these day-to-day adjustments. 

It will slow down your body. It will adjust your metabolism, make you feel hungry, or tell you that you have eaten too much. 

If you are confused about the difference between homeostasis and allostosis, allow me to explain. 

Homeostasis is the need for the body to be in balance. Allostosis is the process by which it remains more or less within these parameters of balance. 

Allostosis is therefore vital for your body. Left unchecked, you can be in free fall and either stop eating all together or end up eating too much. 

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