It is October, and we know that during this time we can become stressed out over many things. If we allow this to happen we miss many opportunities to enjoy our time with our families and friends.
According the the American Institute of Stress, between 75%-90% of all visits to their primary care physicians result from stress related disorders. Most if not almost all of these visits are associated with the usual symptoms of stress such as: digestive tract problems, headaches, skin eruptions, and even back pain. The problem is if these ailments that are creating these symptoms are not addressed then additional symptoms will appear such as: sleeplessness, weight loss or gain, muscle aches, sluggish, and lack of ambition.
The scary thing is the core causes of stress can turn into diseases, the kind that need surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medication and other serious treatments. What many don’t understand is that stress is the body and minds response to any pressure that is disrupting the balance of the individuals physical being.
Studies show that individuals that have ongoing stress reactions have:
- 40% higher death rate than non stressed individuals
- A significantly increased risk of coronary heart disease
- A greater risk of heart attack.
- More prone to increased bone loss
- Reduced muscle mass
- Increased fat accumulation
- Impaired learning & memory
Stress also triggers a chemical reaction in the body that releases elevated amounts of adrenaline and cortisone. Long term chronic stress including such emotions as pent up hatred, seething anger, slow smoldering resentment, and ongoing bitterness cause burnout of the systems that produce adrenaline and cortisone. At this point your body has a much lower immunity and you are more prone to sickness, infections and autoimmune diseases.
I mentioned back pain. It has been shown that back pain can be also linked to repressed negative emotions. Some emotional conditions that have been directly linked to the severity and longevity of the neck and spine pain are : Anger or rage, Bitterness, Disappointment, Unforgiveness, Humiliation, Anxiety, Fear, Frustration, and any other repressed toxic emotion (Dr. Don Colbert, Divine Health)
We have to understand that negative emotions can produce negative physical conditions. You must find a way to release tension and emotional pain, and stress so that your body can continue to create health and not harbor it. Stress can be measured medically by looking at your cortisol levels. When the body shifts into a stressful state, or a flight or fight state, the a number of chemicals are released into the bloodstream. The end result being that the production of excessive amount of cortisol is released. Elevated cortisol levels are associated with a number of ailments.
Here is a quiz for you to take: Below are a number of symptoms associated with elevated salivary cortisol levels. Check off every symptom that applies to you.
ARE YOU STRESSED OUT?
- Muscle weakness or loss of physical strength
- Obesity especially fat in the stomach abdomen area of the body, as opposed to fat concentrated in the hips and thighs
- Hypertension related to overweight
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Elevated triglyceride levels
- Loss of interest in sex
- Increased menstrual problems or PMS
- Memory loss
- Increased tendency toward depression
- Osteoporosis or osteopenia
- Decreased immunity
- Routine insomnia
- Ongoing fatigue
- Thin skin may easily produce stretch marks or be visible as thin shiny skin with spider like blood vessels just under the skin.
If you have checked a high percentage of symptoms on the list above, see your physician and tell him or her that you would like to have a salivary cortisol test (not a blood cortisol test). If you have a documented condition it is even more important that you start addressing the situation now and now wait. Life is too short for us to stress about things and dwell on things that will not bring us happiness.
Emotional stress causes the release of cortisol and epinephrine which can increase glucose levels. When you don’t manage it effectively your blood sugar levels may persistently increase. Supplements, like chromium and magnesium, can help, but its important to practice healthy forms of stress management – daily.
There are many things you can do to manage your stress.
- Exercise –
- Yoga/ Pilates
If you have any other ideas or concerns please let us know or comment on things that have worked for you in the past or is working for you now.
YOUR LIFE – YOUR HEALTH – YOUR JOURNEY