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The chemistry behind angry moments
The idea that being seriously “STRESSED” – read A-N-G-R-Y, leads to heart attacks is not NEW.
In fact, stats suggest the odds of suffering a heart attack….
DOUBLES, two hours after an episode of ANGER.
What’s with the two hour window ?
Two hours ? Why not straight away ? After all, it is in the moment that you unleash the biochemical storm that sees you
- Shake uncontrollably
- Turn red in the face
- Shoot your blood pressure reading into the stratosphere
The calm before the storm
Two hours later, an uneasy calm has usually returned – most of us can’t sustain that level of angry for 2 hours.
At the two hour mark, YOUR biochemistry should be rebounding back to “NORMAL”.
Binghamton University researchers, have uncovered why the fall out, from the explosive moment shows this two hour time delay.
The chemistry of angry moments
An angry / STRESSFUL moment manifests with an instantaneous flood of adrenaline….
Adrenaline’s purpose, is to supercharge you, enough to SURVIVE a close encounter.
Mother Nature is thinking the close encounter might be a woolly mammoth or other great beast that could eat you for dinner, but the same programme runs if the stressor is your boss, the bank or the taxi driver.
I will survive
For the most part, SURVIVAL, depends on you being able to stand your ground or run like hell – hence the need for you to be a SUPERCHARGED version of YOU.
The objective is to survive the moment.
Hence it is a BIG FLOOD of adrenaline, and then recovery. The excess adrenaline is quickly mopped up and things slowly return to NORMAL.
Well that’s what happens in the body, but deep inside the blood vessels, it is another story…..
You rocked their world
Among the cells impacted by the adrenaline rush, are the bacteria clinging to the sides of your blood vessels.
They experience an AWAKENING.
Yip, maybe you didn’t know, but blood vessels have a collection of bacteria squatters, that are tucked deep inside the arterial plaques associated with atherosclerosis.
Here is a CSLM image, from this study, showing a carotid arterial plaque.
The little red specs, indicate a bacterial presence.
The flood of adrenaline changes their world…….. it releases iron.
Bacteria need iron supplies to grow and multiply.
The body “knows” this, so the body works hard to keep iron stores under lock and key. This imposed shortage, limits the ability of bacteria to go forth and multiply.
Well this is what should happen…………..
No iron lockdown
The adrenaline rush, sparked by the emotional crisis, suddenly makes iron available.
And the bacteria rejoice.
Since the bacteria are tucked deep inside the plaque layers, to celebrate their good fortune, they need to come out this biofilm and play.
Coming out PARTY
A dispersion event begins….
The dispersion event involves the release of enzymes, which help them to free themselves of the scaffolding that is holding them.
Unfortunately, these enzymes are by their very nature – degrading enzymes. The degradation process they initiate, can cause bits and pieces of the plaque to break free……..
If the piece of plaque that breaks off, is TOO BIG, it can lodge in a blood vessel, causing the affected blood vessel to block up, impeding oxygen flow. Tissue deprived of oxygen, rapidly begins dying.
THIS IS A HEART ATTACK !
Adrenaline the trigger
The research team have been able to demonstrate that coming out parties happen at concentrations of norepinpherine (adrenaline), typically encountered in the body, following a “stressful” moment.
In this particular experiment, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one of the bacteria species associated with carotid arteries, makes moves to get free of the bonds tethering it to the biofilm, when exposed to iron.
Keep your cool
It is easy to let things get under your skin, losing your cool and going postal, happens…..
Your iron status, can impact what kind of packages, you end up sending.
If you’ve got lots of iron, hanging around, the odds that you send a letter bomb, increase.
So it is important to find ways to manage your emotions and your iron status, so that you send love letters to your heart, not letter bombs.
Iron accumulates inside the human body, especially the brain. Iron and oxygen don’t mix……. the combination leads to rusty parts and serious breakdowns.
If you’re suffering from metabolic syndrome – maybe it is time to let the iron out and bring down your blood pressure by giving a little blood.
If you’ve got iron issues……….but you do eat iron containing foods, odds are your problem is NOT too little iron, but too much hepcidin, thanks to too much insulin
Want to create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY ?
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