Deconditioning is when our system compensates for the excessive flow of nutrition in the form of diminished capacity.
To simplify physiology we will illustrate a single cell that can also represent the sum total of all our cells.
As the cell performs tasks, it eats food for energy. The amount of food the cell eats is related to how much work it does.
We will draw a mouth on the cell to illustrate how much food it has to eat. A cell with a mouth wide open indicates it is eating as much as it can. A cell also has to spend time with the mouth barely open processing or chewing any excess food taken in when the mouth was wide open.
In order to keep this cell healthy we could set up an apparatus to drip food into the jar based on what the cell eats. A basic principle is that as the cell works it produces chemicals indicating how much work it already did, and those chemicals draw more food into the cell. We call this system the normal nutritional apparatus.
Things get slightly more complicated because there will be episodes when the cell has to perform immediately and cannot afford to wait for the normal nutritional apparatus to bring food. The red pump illustrated on the left represents an emergency nutritional apparatus based on anticipation in which food is driven into the jar before the cell does work.
To summarize, during mild work the cell draws food in via the normal nutrition apparatus to replace what is used. At other times food is driven into the cell ahead of time in anticipation of work.
The cell has receptors that are like tentacles that allow it to understand and then react to the environment. Your ears and eyes are examples of your receptors.
The thresholds at which the receptors are triggered can be altered. A relaxing walk with a friend would change into something different after having heard of a a mountain lion sighting. From that moment on, you would notice anything that could possible resemble a mountain lion even though those very same sights and sounds were not noticed before.
For the most part, heightened perception coincides with activation of the emergency nutritional delivery system. Both are necessary when the environment is unpredictable, and the body preps for physical activity.
Again, the amount of food the cell actually eats is determined by how much work it does. When we anticipate work that doesn’t occur there is an excess of food in the jar. Too high of a sugar concentration in the jar would continuously leak into the cell and prevent the cell from metaphorically closing its mouth necessary for recovery. In any case, the system must accommodate or adapt for any excess. This adaptation is deconditioning. It occurs in many forms which all have the effect of a diminished capacity of the nutritional delivery system.
In the first scenario, the food delivery system diverts the food away from the cell. As exaggerated anticipation becomes habitual, the new architecture of the system becomes a more long-term structural adaptation. An easy way to think of this would be the system learning do divert a certain proportion of food to fat storage due to a consistent exaggeration of anticipation. In the end, the cell ends up receiving the right amount of food because a certain percentage is diverted away.
An easier way to picture the phenomenon is a narrowing of the normal nutritional apparatus pipe. To make it really simple, think of the normal nutritional delivery system as a blood vessel, which it actually is in part. In order to deal with an excess of food, the blood vessel simply narrows which will result in the correct amount of food getting to the cell. In either case, the total capacity of the normal nutrition apparatus diminishes in order to account for the excessive influence from the emergency apparatus.
There are a number of so-called diseases we would categorize as forms of deconditioning; everything from the cell ignoring the sugar in the form of diabetes, to diverting the food to fat cells, to the narrowing of the blood vessels in the form of arteriosclerosis, the common ingredient is a diminished capacity of the normal nutritional delivery system.
The deconditioned state is a physiological dependence on the emergency system. If the person relaxes too much, especially the brain might come close to not receiving enough food, and an emergency response would have to kick in, which it does in different forms, two being migraines and seizures.
The problem with not addressing this deconditioning is that the emergency system eventually fatigues and a more severe crash occurs. This is what happens , for example, with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and memory loss.