Is stress affecting your health? Stress is a normal part of life, we all experience stress especially in today’s modern world. In short bursts stress can actually be beneficial. It keeps us motivated to manage situations effectively, rapidly, and more productively. It’s only when stress becomes chronic over weeks, months or years, that it negatively affects our health.
Stress and your adrenal gland
The adrenal glands are small organs located above the kidney and produce stress hormones such as cortisol in response to stress known as “fight or flight response”. Cortisol raises blood pressure, transfer blood from our intestines to our extremities, increase heart rate, suppress our immune & digestive system, and increase our blood’s clotting ability. When the perceived threat is gone, our parasympathetic nervous system returns our body back to balance. In times of chronic stress, this often doesn’t happen quick enough, causing damage to our body.
Health problems associated with hight cortisol levels include:
- Impaired cognitive function,
- Hypothyroidism (reduced thyroid function),
- Sleep disturbance,
- Suppressed immunity and slow wound healing,
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar),
- Hypertension (high blood pressure),
- Carbohydrate cravings,
- Type 2 diabetes,
- Reduced libido,
- Bone loss,
- Decreases muscle mass,
- Fat deposits around the belly. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks and strokes.
Try to include some stress free activities regularly to help you de-stress and unwind. Be sure to choose which ever makes you feel most centred and relaxed.
Stress free zone
- Treat yourself to a warm bath with B inspired calm epsom bath salts,
- Get some fresh air, go for a walk or bike ride,
- Turn off all electrical devices (no phone calls, emails or social media),
- Treat yourself to a regular massage,
- Sip on some B inspired relax organic herbal tea
- Listen to your favourite tunes,
- Get guidance from your health practitioner (naturopath or herbalist) on some nutrients for combating stress,
- Try guided meditation. How Meditation Works – Check out headspace for some cool information to help you.
For more information on “Is stress affecting your health” or to book a naturopathic consultation contact B inspired healthy lifestyle.
Mayoclinic (2017) Chronic stress put your health at risk. Retrieved from URL https//www.mayoclinic.org
Helpguid.org (2017) Stress, symptoms and causes. Retrieved from URL https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm0