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Four ways that stress destroys your health

We’re all under stress from time to time, but when the stress becomes ongoing and chronic, it can get to the point where it threatens your health or even your LIFE.

So, it’s nothing to take lightly!

Here are 4 of the most serious physical prices of chronic stress, as well as ways you can fight back and minimize its harmful and deadly effects:

Adrenal burnout (aka adrenal fatigue)

When your body gears up to deal with stress, your adrenal glands produce the hormones adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output and carbohydrate metabolism, and cortisol directs the necessary energy to your brain and muscles that they need to respond to the stress.

Once the stress passes, your adrenaline level drops quickly, but cortisol remains high to refuel your body and bring it back to balance—and it does so by increasing your appetite.

When your stress is temporary and short-lived, this is fine, but the problem arises when you have chronic stress because cortisol levels stay high.

This can cause you to "stress eat”—especially sugars and refined carbs—because the cortisol is repeatedly signaling you to refuel.  That means you pack on the pounds.

Elevated cortisol can also lead to depressed immune function, low thyroid function, problems with blood sugar control (increasing your risk of Type 2 diabetes) and eventually adrenal burnout.

Signs of adrenal burnout include loss of sleep, dark under eye circles, menstrual problems, feelings of grogginess, extreme exhaustion after exercise, and joint and muscle stiffness and achiness.

Gastritis

Chronic stress can also lead to an inflammation of the stomach called gastritis.

Its symptoms are similar to acid reflux or an ulcer and can include:

  • Burning or ache in your stomach
  • Bloating; Belching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark stools
  • Inadequate digestion and poor absorption of nutrients
  • Feeling of extreme fullness after just a small amount of food

Gut problems and impaired immune function

The "brain-gut axis" is a network of chemical and electrical signals that continuously pass between the central nervous system (the brain) and the digestive system.  Since there's such a profound, close relationship between the two, chronic psychological stress can make you physically sick.

For example, stress is a major factor in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms and can worsen the symptoms of colitis and Crohn's disease. 

Stress also causes your gut to become hypersensitive, which can trigger food allergies and sensitivities.

In addition, stress causes the protective mucosal barrier inside your intestines to become less effective at defending your body against dangerous bacteria and pathogens.

So you are much more susceptible to catching viruses and infections when under chronic stress.

Inflammation

Stress can trigger inflammation, which is a leading factor behind many chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, arthritis, chronic back pain, premature aging, and our two main killers--heart disease and cancer.

How to fight back

First and foremost, it's important to reduce and eliminate as much stress from your life as you can.  Regular exercise, mediation, yoga, massage, counseling, prayer, and even adopting a pet can help. 

But since stress will always be a part of our lives, it's essential to give your body the support it needs too!

Here’s how:

1- Get your Zzzzz’s

Make sure you are getting at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.  Proper rest is crucial for your mind and body to regenerate. 

Even if you’re very stressed out and can’t fall asleep right away, just lying in your bed in a dark room is helpful and encourages melatonin production.

2- Support sound digestion

Efficient digestion is vital for proper nutrient absorption and can help eradicate the symptoms of stress-induced gastritis and other GI problems. 

Unfortunately, many stressed people are eating on the go—lots of nutrient-poor, fast and processed foods.  Plus our typical meal combinations are very taxing on our bodies, and roll out the red carpet for indigestion and gut aches!

Step one is to avoid fast foods and processed junk, and instead make the time to cook real foods.  It’s just as easy to sauté a chicken breast and dump a bagged salad into a bowl as it is to cook a frozen pizza. 

Make the effort—your health and life are worth it.

The second step is to make your meals easier for your system to tackle.  When your system can break down and digest your meals more easily and efficiently, you can say goodbye to heartburn, gas, bloating and constipation, as well as enjoy improved nutrient absorption too!

I will teach you everything you need to know in the Great Taste No Pain system!

Great Taste No Pain is not a “diet”—it’s simply a smart way to pair foods together in your meals for easy, breezy digestion.  And here’s an added bonus--the recipes in the book are the BOMB! 

I guarantee you’ll be shocked at the difference in your digestion and how delicious it can be to have a healthy diet.

3- Support your friendly gut flora

Stress takes a tremendous toll on your gut microbes, so it’s essential to help repopulate your supply of beneficial, illness-fighting bacteria with a top-quality probiotic formula like Super Shield.

Super Shield contains a full-spectrum blend of 13 potent, well-studied probiotic strains that provide strong support and help keep your gut microbiome is a healthier balance.

Not only can this mean more regular BMs and less gas, but also improved immune function, fewer allergy symptoms, improved moods and even lower cholesterol too!

4- Keep inflammation low

One of the best ways to keep inflammation low is to embrace the power of Nature’s own anti-inflammatory—Omega-3 essential fatty acids. 

And an outstanding fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 can help ensure you have enough of these crucial fats.  VitalMega-3 provides a therapeutic 1,200 mg of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 EFAs in every 2-capsule dose, including the all-important EPA and DHA. 

Fish oil supplementation has been shown to help with all kinds of inflammatory processes—including lower blood pressure and cholesterol, fewer aches and pains and improved memory and cognition too!

Stress is all around us and it's not going away any time soon.

But when you support your body and help it fight the effects of stress, you are taking giant steps toward maintaining a strong state of health into your golden years. 

To your health,

Sherry Brescia


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5 comments


  • Hello Jeff! Thank you so much for your kind words. Many of us here at Holistic Blends go to Dr. Lori Anderson at the Synergy Center in Manlius. This is a phenomenal practice! Sherry’s personal physician is located in Manhattan; Dr. Salerno. We hope this helps!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • Hello Pat! Thank you for reaching out to us. We are emailing you directly to respond to your inquiries. Please check your email!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • Is there any chance you could provide several simple breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in your newsletters that would put the right foods together… and help simplify the list of do’s and don’ts? I am not fond of fish, so some menus without fish would be helpful. Also, with all of the different supplements, could you provide the best time of day to take each supplement…and with or without food? Thanks for all of your informative health news.

    Pat Kennedy on

  • Hi Sherry, I have followed you for years now since, I first saw your article in Powerlifting USA. I highly recommend all your products and your daily blogs. I was wondering if you could recommend a family doctor that believes as you and I in alternative medicine in the Syracuse area? Thanks again for all the info over years. Jeff

    Jeffrey S White on

  • Thank You!

    Lisa Podplesky on

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