Neuro stress

As in adrenal fatigue, the stress axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal gland) is the focus of interest in neurostress. In addition to the hormonal control axis, the neurotransmitter levels are also included. Therefore, a neurostress profile usually consists in the measurement of the hormones cortisol and DHEA in the saliva as well as the determination of different neurotransmitters in the (second) morning urine. The cortisol level is determined several times a day in order to evaluate the day's rhythm. Neurotransmitters to be determined are: adrenaline, noradrenaline, serotonin, dopamine sometimes also GABA and glutamate.

Neurostress includes all alterations in the central hormonal stress system and the central nervous system, both of which are closely interrelated. This so-called neuroendocrine stress axis is of crucial importance for the adaptation of the organism to all the challenges that are posed to it. The body responds to any environmental change and adapts itself. Also temperature / climate fluctuations or the rising up from a lying position are already processes which trigger a series of events. The organism regulates respiratory and cardiac / circulatory function, controls energy supply, hormonal balance and immune activity. This changes the concentration, alertness and attention of the individual depending on the current needs or causes vegetative reactions.


Typically, this process will help you solve the problems you are experiencing. The acute stress situation can be overcome and the organism is able to regenerate. In long-term stress or chronic stress, the body's adaptation mechanism can be overwhelmed and a sustained change occurs on the physical, psychological and emotional level. The vulnerability of each individual is individually different. For some people, events can be too much which others do not perceive as stress. Factors which play a role in this are e.g. traumatic events, accidents, infections or the genetic disposition. The sensitivity to neurotransmitters or the genetic ability to produce neurotransmitters can differ. All these factors, as well as the duration and intensity of the experience, can determine the own stress tolerance. For other harmless events can lead to certain complaints in individual cases.

Frequently in connection with neurostress are complaints such as:

Depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders (including adiposity), low appetite, migraine, panicking, burnout, fibromyalgia, MCS, chronic fatigue (up to CFS), memory disorders, PMS, menopause problems, ADS / ADHD etc.

A leading neurostress laboratory in Germany (Ant-Ox) links the neurostress with approximately the following frequencies with certain complaints:


ADS / ADHD (for children)         20 - 22 %
CFS / Chronic Fatigue syndrome     1 - 5 %
Fatigue  10 - 20 %
MCS / Multiple Chemical Sensitivity   5 - 15 %
Fibromyalgia   5 - 10 %
Migraine     6 - 8 %
Overweight / Obesity 30 - 60 %
Carbohydrate craving   5 - 20 %
Appetite disorders 20 - 30 %
Depression 15 - 20 %
Sleep disorders     > 10 %
Anxiety syndromes 10 - 30 %
Food intolerances 10 - 20 %
Premenstrual syndrome 10 - 20 %
Perimenopause Symptoms 20 - 40 %

Irritable colon (Irritable bowl)

10 - 15 %


All these symptoms and signs of illness can be abet by different disturbances in the neurotransmitter levels and / or disturbances in the hormone balance. There are fluid transitions from the lack of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine or disorders in the glutamate / GABA ratio to low or excessive cortisol release. Some neurostress profiles may have a cluttered cortisol daily rhythm and may be characterized by a deficiency of the stress hormone DHEA. This hormone is again the starting substance for many sex hormones such as testosterone, progesterone or estradiol.



Neuro-stress axis

The neurostress axis consists essentially of hormones and neurotransmitters. The stress response of the body mainly regulate the hormones cortisol and DHEA, (and adrenaline) as well as the NTs (neurotransmitters) serotonin, dopamine (and noradrenaline). However, glutamate and GABA are the most frequently occurring neurotransmitters in the CNS (central nervous system) and determine their activity level. GABA acts as a damping agent (similar to valium, which binds to the same receptors) and stimulates glutamate (in high concentrations it is neurotoxic). There are also neurotransmitters such as glycine, histidine and PEA (phenylalanine) which act only in certain brain regions and act as modulators. To compensate for the disturbed balance, direct precursors (amino acids) of the neurotransmitters are used in a favorable ratio to one another.

The neurohormones, as in the case of adrenal fatigue already discussed, act between hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal gland. The production of cortisol is controlled by ACTH and CRH. There is a negative feedback which prevents its further excitation at high cortisol levels. Cortisol is the most important stress hormone, which stimulates the metabolism, has an anti-inflammatory, motivating and temperature-increasing effect. It also improves mental performance and improves the mood. DHEA is another important stress hormone. It is also formed in the adrenal gland and is a precursor for various steroid hormones. Therefore, DHEA is anabolic but also antidepressant and antioxidant. It improves the immune function and can also be formed in the CNS. Partially, it acts directly as a neurohormone. In case of stress, it is increased, but can drop in concentration during chronic stress.


The neurotransmitters have different functions in the nervous system. All neurotransducers relevant for neurostress have different characteristics:

Catecholamines include adrenaline, norepinephrine and dopamine. They are formed in the body from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine with the help of vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper and magnesium.

Adrenaline: adrenaline is formed in the adrenal medulla and as a neurotransmitter acts stimulating. It increases heart rate, blood pressure, and mental activity. It also increases energy supply and oxygen uptake. SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is involved in its formation.

Noradrenaline: Norepinephrine also acts as a stimulant and increases alertness, concentration and motivation. It is released from certain brain regions during acute stress and increases the blood pressure like adrenaline without changing the cardiac output volume. A lack of norepinephrine can lead to a lack in drive and to concentration deficiencies, as well as to depressive mood disorders.

Dopamine: As a precursor to adrenaline and norepinephrine, dopamine is an important catecholamine which at the same time is an elementary neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It partly interacts with serotonin and is also one of the 'wellbeing messengers'. It controls coordination and motor skills and has a positive effect on mental performance and motivation. It works together with other catecholamines. A chronic deficiency can cause movement disorders and, in extreme cases, lead to Parkinson's disease. Dopamine deficiency also causes a lack of motivation and fatigue during the day. A chronic dopamine excess can cause tiredness and fatigue (central fatigue). In high doses it is neurotoxic.

Serotonin: Serotonin is one of the central neurotransmitters. It has a relaxing, toning effect, anti-depressive and sleep-promoting. It is synthesized by tryptophan and 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP) with the help of vitamin B6. In the evening in the dark it can be further metabolised to melatonin. Serotonin is also very common in the gastrointestinal tract (95%). It regulates the peristalsis, motor function and resorption function of the intestine. A severe deficiency can lead to many symptoms like fibromyalgia, depression, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, migraine, irritant MCS, and severe fatigue. This is reinforced by a possible lack of melatonin and dopamine. Chronic infections and a constantly activated immune system lead to reduced tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin and thus also to depression.

Glutamate: Glutamate is quantitatively the most important stimulating neurotransmitter. Almost 2/3 of the neuronal activity is ensured by glutamate. It is fundamental for the mediation of sensory impressions, for learning and memory, as well as for motor skills (coordination, muscle movements). In too high quantities, however, it is neurotoxic.

GABA: Gamma-aminobutyric acid is the second most common neurotransmitter after the glutamate in the CNS and is also involved in almost all neuronal processes. GABA has a distinctly inhibitory (damping) effect and is usually active within the neurons. The majority of all neurons have GABA receptors, which also interact with some psychopharmaceuticals. Since it inhibits the presynaptic release of stimulating neurotransmitters, it acts anxious, pain-relieving, soothing, and soothing. It stabilizes the blood glucose and counteracts spasms. If the GABA levels are too high, anxiety, sleep disorders, hot-hunger and autism may occur. Significantly low concentrations can occur with neurotransmitter function disorders (epilepsy, schizophrenia).

Glutamate and GABA are both formed from glutamic acid, although they are antagonistic. The ratio between them determines the basic activity of the central nervous system while modulating catecholamines and serotonin.


Stress Response

The stress response works as has already been described with adrenal fatigue. At the beginning, the neuro-stress axis reacts with a stronger activity. The production of stress hormones in the adrenal glands is increasing. This results in an increased cortisol level and a raised 24h-day rhythm. It is only in the case of more severe forms that the cortisol level gradually decreases until the typical morning peak (peak) is absent, the daily rhythm is abolished, and the night-time regeneration does not occur. Now the full-scale of a burn-out develops. This also suggests that the neuroendocrine adaptation reactions are blocked and neurotransmitters are exhausted. The same is true for DHEA (S), which is normal or slightly elevated in chronic stress. DHEA may also fall off during severe stress and the ratio of morning to evening may shift.

The stress response of the autonomic nervous system reacts with chronic stress with pronounced inhibition of serotonin production. Noradrenaline is initially elevated but can also drop under permanent stress burden. Adrenaline drops, dopamine is usually unchanged and only rarely degraded. For ADHD / ADS, dopamine may be increased. Additional inflammatory reactions in the body and a lack of stress response often lead to sleeping problems (falling asleep, sleeping) with persistent exhaustion / fatigue, to pronounced CFS (in the course of burn-out syndrome or sickness syndrome). This also manifests itself through motivation deficiency, depressive mood disorders, concentration and memory disorders, loss of appetite, anxiety and sensation disorders (MCS). Increased pain sensation (fibromyalgia) or migraine may also result. Of central importance are the cortisol level ​​and the serotonin level (see -> adrenal fatigue).

Burnout Kombitest (laboratory chemical analysis of adrenaline, daily cortisol, DHEA, dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin to determine the current neuroendocrine situation. € 183.80)


The therapy of neurostress is aimed at restoring the neurotransmitter equilibria and filling up the neurotransmitter deficits, especially serotonin concentration. A balance between the stimulant (norepinephrine, dopamine, glutamate) and damping (serotonin, GABA, glycine, taurine) should be re-established again in the CNS. For this purpose, direct metabolic precursors of the neurotransmitters are particularly suitable therapeutically. Amino acids such as 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP-> serotonin), tyrosine (-> catecholamines) and glutamine (glutamate, GABA) are highly effective together with modulators (theanine, taurine etc.) and enzymatically important nutrients (vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, etc.). In the long term, the blockage of the stress axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal gland) can be solved. -> Adrenal Fatigue