The two main stressors on our body are Emotional Stress (single, largest factor) and Dietary Stress, both of which can be controlled and/or released.
The key component for our Emotional Stress is related to how we
perceive an event and our reaction to that perception.
The key to our Dietary Stress is BALANCE. Dietary Stress = blood sugar imbalances -
the up/down based entirely on the foods we consume.
How does Stress affect our bodies? Here are just a few:
- Impaired learning & memory
- Lack of quality sleep
- Endocrine challenges - Pancreas (insulin production); thyroid function; ovarian hormone levels fluctuating
- Muscle integrity
- Bone density loss
- Weight gain/loss
- Leaky gut
- Inflammatory state (hidden inflammation)
- Immune system dysregulation
- Catabolic state (systems are breaking down)
Read through the following list and note how many of them currently apply to you:
- Low blood pressure
- Dizzy upon standing
- Low blood sugar
- Salt cravings
- Craving sweets
- Dark circles under eyes
- Sleep challenges - either falling or staying asleep
- Non-restorative sleep
- Mental fogginess or trouble concentrating
- Frequent infections (catch cold easily)
- Stressed most of the time
- Feeling tired but "wired"
- Water retention
- Panic attacks or easily startled
- Heart palpitations
- Need to start day with caffeine
- Feel weak and shaky
- Sweaty palms and feet when nervous
- Fatigued a lot of the time
- Weak muscles
If you chose more than seven, you are at a high risk of adrenal dysfunction, and having even three to six shows an intermediate risk.
Unfortunately the allopathic community (mainstream medical doctors) only recognizes extreme cases of adrenal dysfunction before treating - this I can attest to. Unless your symptoms are so severe that they start showing up in your bloodwork, nothing will be done. Once your adrenals are so shot they stop producing enough cortisol, the diagnosis typically is Addison's Disease & recognized by the allopathic community (endocrinologists, etc). On the opposite side - too much cortisol - the diagnosis is typically Cushing's Disease.
My goal is to help clients not get to that level; wanting to control stress NOW before the cortisol levels are way too high/low and adrenal dysfunction takes root [yes, pun intended].
Look for upcoming blogs on the Adrenals - how they function, what IS cortisol and how it effects the body, what can be done through nutrition to improve the balance, along with dealing with the emotional aspect of stress.
You are not alone and unfortunately stress can take us hostage if we do not treat it before we need the endocrinologist!