Allostasis and Allostatic Load*
Allostasis is a term which supplements the classic terms homeostasis and stress.
It refers to an active process that leads to adaptation to a stressor, and mediators of allostasis, which include stress hormones as well as the autonomic nervous systems and pro-inflammatory cytokines and metabolic hormones.
Allostatic load and allostatic overload, represent the cumulative effects of chronic physiologic stress.
Chronic physiologic stress may be generated by internal processes and external factors that dysregulate the mediators of allostasis.
Allostatic overload includes many of the common diseases of modern life.