It’s something we ALL deal with from time to time, and if it truly was just once in a while that we were stressed, I wouldn’t be writing this blog today.
But the problem is that many of us are chronically stressed, and that has devastating effects on your health!
Let’s look at what stress really is, all the ways it can harm your health (trust me, you will be shocked) and how you can fight back and minimize its harmful effects on you.
Stress-what is it really?
Stress is a reflection of our ancient biological “caveman” programming!
Way back in our early days, we dealt with various physical stresses like hunting for food (or maybe our food hunted us!), conflicts with other tribes and dealing with environmental challenges.
When these physical stresses would pop up, our bodies would prepare us for the “fight or flight” reaction—expecting that we would need to run like a gazelle or fight for our lives.
When this happened, the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol would cause various physiological changes getting us ready for fighting or fleeing. These include:
- Your liver puts glucose into your bloodstream for energy
- Your heart rate and blood pressure rise
- Your pupils dilate
- Your breathing increases
- You begin sweating and your muscles tense up
Once the stress was over, all our bodily functions would return to normal, we would refuel to replace lost energy, and all would be well.
Enter our NEW form of stress—mental!
Nowadays for the most part we’re not hunting for our food, and we’re (hopefully) not getting into a lot of fights!
Our stresses are more mental in nature—a tough day at work, home/family challenges, money worries, etc.
But your body cannot distinguish between physical and mental stress! So it acts the exact same way!
And this really becomes a problem when your stress is CHRONIC.
Here’s what I mean—here are some examples of how your body’s reaction to chronic stress can ruin your health and even shorten your life!
Stress pulls energy away from your digestion.
Nothing the human body does demands more energy than digestion, so if stress takes energy away from yours, heartburn will become your regular companion. Get the Tums out!
Plus, stress can cause colon contractions, sending you rocketing to the toilet with diarrhea.
Your pancreas carefully monitors your blood sugar level and when it gets too high, it secretes insulin to tell your cells to absorb the glucose.
Well, when you’re chronically stressed and your liver is dumping glucose into your system repeatedly, your pancreas can eventually get pooped out and not be able to secrete adequate insulin for your needs.
Or your cells might stop responding to the “call of duty” from insulin—known as insulin resistance.
Either way, you may be looking at Type 2 diabetes. People with high levels of stress have a 45 percent greater risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Glucose is an abrasive substance, so having lots of it repeatedly flowing through your blood vessels can stir up inflammation and raise your blood pressure.
Plus inflammation in the tiny arteries servicing your eyes, brain or kidneys can lead to retinal problems, stroke or kidney damage.
Stress causes harmful changes to your gut microbiome, giving dangerous microbes the “upper hand” and weakening your immune system functioning.
This can lead to repeated infections and viruses, as well as less protection against serious diseases like cancer!
The stress hormone cortisol is responsible for telling your body to refuel itself. Cortisol doesn’t know that your stress is mental—it thinks you just ran or fought—so it gives you a VORACIOUS appetite for sugars and fats to help you “recover.”
Well, over time with lots of chronic stress, this can cause you to crave carbs like crazy!
In addition, sugar is addictive--it’s been compared to cocaine in terms of addictiveness—so that will cause you to crave even more carbs.
I’m sure you know what that means—that scale number will go up, up, up.
Plus remember that sugar feeds cancer cells too, which makes those carb cravings potentially deadly.
Pregnenolone is your body’s hormone “molding clay,” and your body divvies it up to wherever it’s needed to make hormones. This can include your thyroid, male and female hormones, your digestion, your brain, etc.
You have over 200 hormones that control pretty much all of your body’s processes, and your body divides up your pregnenolone as needed to make those hormones.
EXCEPT when you are under stress!
Stress hormones trump all other hormones, so when you’re stressed, your body directs all your pregnenolone resources to making stress hormones.
Leaving your other hormones running short!
Over time this can lead to hypothyroidism, PMS, digestive problems, insomnia, depression and much more.
How to help!
Clearly, fighting back against stress and minimizing its harmful effects on you is not only a good idea—it’s vital!
Here are some of the most effective ways you can ensure that stress doesn’t get the best of you (or your health!):
1- Get regular exercise
I know exercise is a dirty word to many people, but nothing beats it in terms of undoing the harmful effects of stress.
The key is picking something you like (or will at least tolerate), doing it for 30 minutes 3-4 days a week, creating doable goals, and getting a buddy if possible.
You have 168 hours in a week—carve out 2 of those for exercise.
2- Pamper your liver
Your poor liver is really challenged when you are stressed—it’s responsible for putting glucose into your bloodstream, as well as making cholesterol which is then turned into pregnenolone for your stress hormones.
So, it’s important to pamper your poor liver! You can do this by drinking a large glass of water every morning to which a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime has been added. Also, incorporate onions and garlic into your meals, as they are helpful to the liver.
And of course, watch the booze. Don’t rely on alcohol to relieve your stress.
3- Help your gut recover
Your microbiome takes a major hit when you’re stressed, so it’s crucial to help repopulate your intestinal good guys with a full-spectrum probiotic blend like Super Shield.
Super Shield’s carefully designed blend of 13 well-studied and proven probiotic strains help support a strong, healthy intestinal flora balance, which will in turn help pave the way for strong immune function, more regular BMs, less gas and bloating and better nutrient absorption.
4- Supplement with vitamin D
All of your body’s vitamin resources are challenged during times of stress.
This is especially a concern with vitamin D since most of us are already deficient in this crucial nutrient!
Vitamin D is essential for bone, brain and cardiovascular health, as well as helping to tame inflammatory immune responses such as those seen in asthma, allergies and autoimmune conditions.
Since food sources of vitamin D are limited, it’s wise to supplement with a well-rounded product like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B.
Optimum DK Formula provides a therapeutic 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3, plus vitamins K1 and K2 and the mineral boron. This “dream team” of nutrients works together synergistically to pave the way for better health and a strong, smart immune system!
5- Other stress relievers to try
Here are some other stress relief measures to try:
- Counseling or therapy
- Essential oils (especially helpful is lavender)
- Deep breathing
Don’t let stress get the best of you—fight back and minimize its harmful effects.
You’ll probably feel much better and live longer as a result!
To your health,