Stress is a growing problem in today’s world and it is causing chronic illnesses, along with fatigue, headaches, insomnia, abdominal issues, etc. Stress is nothing to ignore. The connection between stress and illness has been well documented. Stress has been connected with a disruption of our hormones, among other things.
The body is designed to function beautifully. When the body is functioning optimally, there are no symptoms and there is no disease. If symptoms are present, this means that there is a disruption in how your body is functioning. It is important to seek the underlying cause of the symptoms and restore the body to optimal functioning.
Stress is defined as anything that can interfere with the function of the body. Stress can come in the form of mental/emotional, physical, or chemical. Chemical stressors are often overlooked, and they can come from the chemicals that you use on a daily basis in your personal care or cleaning products.
It is important to address ways that you can deal with emotional stress–do things like meditation, yoga, exercise, regular down time, unplugging from electronics, counseling, writing things down, floating in epsom salt, letting go of worries/guilt, setting boundaries, etc. Physical stress is self evident and it makes sense to minimize any physical stresses on your body. Get regular massages, stretch regularly, address sources of physical pain, etc. To reduce chemical stress, replace products that you use regularly with safer, less toxic products. This may take some time but it is well worth it. Everything we do adds up, reduce whatever stress you can: mental, physical, and chemical.
The adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones. One major function of the adrenal glands is to produce the stress related hormone, cortisol, and they also produce the sex hormones (Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, and DHEA–this role increases as we age). When we encounter short lived stress, the cortisol is produced in higher amounts and helps us feel good and recover. With chronic stress, the cortisol is produced at an increased rate over a long period of time. Initially, this helps us to be able to work on overdrive and feel OK. But, over time the adrenal glands eventually tire out.
This leads to a decrease in cortisol output as well as a decrease in the sex hormones. The result is fatigue, brain fog, a decrease in vitality, a reduced ability to repair and heal, an increase in aches and pains, sleep issues, depression, anxiety, irritability, weight issues, blood sugar fluctuations, etc.
All symptoms have a cause and it is important to get to the cause in order to have a long term fix. A close look at the adrenal glands and hormone system should be the initial step in anyone having the above issues. Hormonal deficiencies should be fixed before attempting to work on other aspects of malfunction. To fully recover and help your body function optimally it is critical to address: nutrition, rest (you must get adequate rest), exercise (the right type and quantity for you), stressors (must be reduced and/or dealt with more effectively), supplementation, and hormone balancing (utilizing bio-identical hormones).
By addressing all of these areas, you can feel vital and happy. You can greatly reduce your risk for chronic illnesses and cancer.