Stress is “the non specific response of the body to any demand”; i.e. not a psychological term, but a TOTAL REACTION of a person to all the demands of their environment. Types of Stress:
- Emotional and/or mental
- Physical from over work/exercise/ biomechanical strain
- Chemical – internal and external from environmental pollutants, toxins, poor diet, allergies, hormones and glandular imbalances, etc.
- Thermal from over heating/chilling
People whose bodies are stressed may not feel psychologically stressed or relate to being stressed at all.
Our body functions relate to the stone age, where stress is all about tigers, either chasing them or running away from them. This is known as the “Fight or Flight” mechanism, initially the “Alarm Phase” causing
- adrenalin, cortisol, DHEA and other hormones, sugars and fats release to the blood for energy
- heart rate/blood pressure rise to pump more blood
- respiratory rate increases for more oxygen
- digestion slows and blood is diverted to muscles; salivation and guy enzyme activity decrease
- pupils dilate for more sensitive vision; senses are more acute to identify threats
- blood clotting increases to prevent bleeding to death
- core body temperature rises; sweating increases to flush waste and cool the body
- white blood cell count reduces, spleen contracts; lymphocyte production decreases
- protein storage is depleted
If we are the tiger’s lunch we won’t care! If the tiger is our lunch we will have used up the stress hormones we produced for the job of chasing so our mission is accomplished and all is well and balanced in our physiology.
When our stressors are things we can’t do anything about, like being stuck in traffic, difficult situations with relationships and money, etc. we produce the same stress hormones. As we have not used up these hormones they leave a toxic chemical overload in the body. Long term fight or flight reaction burns out key nutrients.
Resistance Phase (Ongoing Stress)
The body attempts to compensate, increasing hormone output and nervous system activity. Adrenals increase in size to cope with increased demand and you may feel bruised in the back at the bottom of the ribs. Adaptive diseases may occur like hypertension (high blood pressure), ulcers, impaired immune function and asthma.
Exhaustion Phase (Burnout)
Adrenals fail to respond to extra demands for extra bursts of energy. Adrenals and cardiac vasculature over activity, hormone and electrolyte imbalance, decreased potassium, retained sodium. Feels like letting the air out of a balloon or running on empty, then we can hardly get out of bed
Prevention is better than cure so managing our daily stresses before they become prolonged is ideal. Balance mental/emotional with meditation, yoga, exercise and mindfulness. Balance physical with exercise, rest, good nutrition and water, get treatment where necessary. Balance chemical by choosing good food to avoid external toxins, internal toxins may need specialist treatment. Maintain thermal balance, dress appropriately!
Possible Nutrition in the early stages of stress (depends on symptoms!) Vitamins B complex, B12, C, D. Copper, Magnesium, Zinc. Echinacea, Ginseng, Milkthistle. NAC, Alkalising salts, Probiotics, Omega 3,6,9 oils.
Nutrition in the Exhaustion phase requires specialist testing, treatment and guidance.
We are happy to advise you on your health matters. To learn about the full range of services offered by Aether Bios Clinic take a look at our website.
Tel: 01273 309557
Mobile: 07710 227038