I attended a snooty private school from 6th grade til I graduated senior year. It was essentially structured like a college campus with a science building, humanities, several libraries, an art studio, computer lab, 2 gymnasiums, ball field, track, etc. This is where I first became familiar with stress. Stress followed me through college and then out into the real world, where I began work in various offices and then went back to school while continuing to work full time.
If you break it down, stress is caused by 3 factors: emotional/physical trauma, diet (high or low blood sugar, eating the wrong foods for your physiology), and pain and inflammation, which can be hidden.
I believe that chronic stress is the initial cause of imbalance in the body, and prolonged imbalance prevents your body from achieving homeostasis, eventually leading to disease. Our bodies are not designed for chronic stress. We are designed for fight or flight: when a stressful situation arises, our adrenal glands flood our system with cortisol and adrenaline to prepare to fight. After the event ends, we can begin to relax and hormone levels drop again – dangerous situation over now!
This isn’t the case in modern life. We run in fight mode on a constant basis, burning the candle at both ends, never relaxing and allowing our adrenals to rejuvenate. Cortisol levels rise and stay high until you eventually burn out. You might feel over-stimulated and “wired” in the beginning phases of chronic stress due to high cortisol, or you may drink too much coffee to get an artificial high to power through stressful times. Eventually, as your adrenals burn out, you may gain weight, feel fatigue, depression, sleep difficulties, menstrual irregularities, or anxiety.
Your adrenals are integral in maintaining a healthy stress response, and they also govern your sex hormones and your immune system. You may feel run down or become more susceptible to illness -especially digestive problems – because the majority of your immune system is in your gut. Digestive issues such as pathogens and parasites create lots of toxins, and now your liver is overwhelmed and you may have worsening allergies or skin problems.
With your immune system working overtime, it’s not as sharp in its conquest against irregular cells or invading pathogens. Your liver is overwhelmed and not able to break down toxins. Your hormonal system, including thyroid hormones, is out of balance. Now your three major body systems – hormonal, digestive, and detox – are all out of balance and you probably feel pretty rotten. You are also more vulnerable to illness. All as a result of….. stress.
The best cure for disease is prevention, of course. Stress relief. Take time for yourself. Do some deep breathing, meditation, yoga, gardening, exercise…. whatever relaxes your mind and body. Don’t overwork yourself. Get 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Don’t watch the news before bed – lord knows the economy is not soothing fodder to sleep on. Feed yourself well – and eat breakfast!
The adrenals can be restored through a variety of programs using herbs, amino acids, nutrients, or plant-based hormonal products to restore adrenal health. Vitamin C and B vitamins are crucial for adrenal health.
Saliva testing can give you information about your adrenal function, and I design a customized program to follow based on the results. It takes several months to restore adrenal function, and the lifestyle and health changes are so worth it. You’ll feel better for it.
LIKE WHAT YOU'VE READ?
Subscribe and get my FREE guide, 7 Ways to Beat the Bloat, plus my newsletter with exclusive offers, recipes, health tips, and treats!