Stress is a major buzzword in our society. Whether you are a young entrepreneur or a seasoned executive, stress is a constant in any profession. But stress doesn’t start when you get a job. Students are stressed, overworked and overscheduled. It seems that our high-stress lifestyle is a trophy to be awarded and battle scar to be touted. But what if the stress was killing you? What if your stress hormones are creating havoc in all of your body systems from your brain to your circulation?
This is exactly what is happening inside many of our bodies. Chronic stress is leading to shorter and less fulfilling lives. It is leading to chronic illness, autoimmune conditions, and idiopathic disease states. Can stress kill you? You bet it can. Over time, stress weakens your immune system and cardiovascular health.
What causes stress?
The causes of stress are numberless and difficult to measure. What might seem stressful for you, might be a walk in the park for me. These varying reactions have to do with attitude and coping skills. But what about when it comes to things that stress our bodies?
A poor diet, loaded with sugar and carbohydrates will stress anyone’s body. Lack of water and dehydration also stress everyone’s body equally. Air pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, caffeine, alcohol, and fried foods are stressful for any body. We will never completely escape stress, but we can cut down on our stressors.
What are the physical symptoms of stress?Physical symptoms of stress may include:
- Low energy
- Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
- Frequent colds and infections
- Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
- Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
- Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Many of the physical symptoms of stress are due to a weakened immune system. What about the mental and emotional signs and symptoms of stress?
What are the emotional symptoms of stress?
A list of common emotional symptoms related to stress:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Short temper
- Low self esteems
- Avoiding others and social settings
The effects of stress are evident in any disease. Stress can cause immune dysfunctions that lead to autoimmune diseases, GI disorders, and heart disease. Stress induced cardiac arrest is a danger for many who are obese and lead high-stress lifestyles. The most notable side effect of stress is high cortisol. Cortisol is your stress hormone and if it remains elevated for too long, you can suffer from adrenal fatigue. High cortisol levels are the beginning of a fateful chain reaction.
How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a modern day plague. I’ve discussed the symptoms, causes and solutions for adrenal fatigue in another article. It is more common than you might think and often goes undetected. There is no reason to wonder whether you have adrenal fatigue or not. A simple saliva test will give you conclusive results. You can schedule a consultation with me, and we can discuss your testing and recovery options.
Amazon has dozens of pages of listings for supplements to help with stress. I have a shelf full of useful remedies and formulas, like Metagenics Adreset. But no amount of pills will help unless you are decreasing the stressors you expose yourself to. Reducing stress needs to be a whole body and whole mind approach.
Start with your diet: take out foods that stress your body. That means, stop eating sugar and processed carbohydrates. No more donuts in the morning and candy bars in the afternoon.
Drink water and avoid dehydrating drinks like caffeinated sodas, coffee, and energy drinks.
Check your sleep. Just because you are in bed doesn’t mean you are getting good quality sleep. I use an Oura ring and Biostrap to track my sleep. Poor quality sleep is a major contributor to stess and causes premature aging.
Get moderate exercise at least 3 times per week. Use a HIIT timer, go for a walk, do yoga, whatever makes you move...just move.
Adreset - Helps support a healthy stress response
Beyond the basics there are targeted nutrients that support your adrenal glands and HAP- axis in a healthy stress response. All of these powerful nutrients can be found in Metagenic's Adreset.
Cordyceps mycelium is a fungus/mushroom. Is it safe for humans? To answer that, I would refer you to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). They have been using cordyceps for thousands of years. It is a potent inflammation-fighting substance. Long term stress causes both inflammation and oxidation. Cordyceps can be used to reduce both.
Asian ginseng (panax) is a root that has been studied and shown to produce numerous benefits. It reduces inflammation and increases brain function. It has also been shown to improve immune function.
Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb that supports a balanced release of cortisol.
To read more about this formula that supports a healthy stress response, visit my article all about Adreset, a full review.
Carly Neubert BA, NC
For additional recipes, biohacking tips and lifestyle hacks -- check out my other blog on my coaching site www.cleancoachcarly.com! I post weekly about nutrition and lifestyle topics, all backed by science. Happy Reading!