Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Family Practice


Bernard Toney Jr., DMSc, PA-C


The concepts of allostasis and allostatic load have been well studied in medical literature over the past two decades. Allostasis is the process by which the body regains homeostasis in response to stressors while allostatic load is the cumulative effect of the stressors impacting the body’s homeostasis. An interesting correlation between high allostatic loads and a specific group of symptoms in US special operations forces has recently been termed “Operator Syndrome” although information is limited given the small population size. This review seeks to validate the concept of allostatic load, discuss nuances of operationalizing the concept in US special operations forces, and provide some holistic considerations for prevention and treatment. In addition, the review should provide awareness for clinicians that seemingly independent illnesses or injuries may be related as physiological manifestations of a high allostatic load.


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