Isn’t it unfortunate that in our society we almost brag about how busy, tired and overwhelmed we are? With that said, now take a minute and ask yourself if you suffer from any of the following:
-Anxiety or irritability
-Muscle or back pain
-Ongoing infections (such as cold or flu)
-Upset stomach or heartburn
-Feeling “burned out”
-Headaches or migraines
-The need to smoke or drink in order to cope
Stress is essential for survival. The chemicals it triggers help us cope with difficulty, but how much stress is too much and affecting to our health. Many of us are driven to attain that next promotion, a bigger house, fancier car and basically living our lives running on empty. The pressures and demands of daily life can start to take a toll. Slowly and silently, chronic stress can deteriorate our health, from weakening the immune system to increasing the risk of heart attack. The harmful effects of chronic stress often go unnoticed until they manifest in mental or physical burnout, compromised health and disease. This “silent killer” is no joke, below are some of the detrimental conditions that chronic stress may lead to
Depression and Anxiety
Chronic stress is connected to an increased rate of depression and anxiety. Research examining stress (specifically, occupational stress) indicates low reward and job insecurity as major factors for depressive disorder.
Stressed out individuals have an increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Stress can worsen asthma, even possibly affecting ones own children. Research indicates parental stress may increase the risk of children developing asthma.
Stress increases the likelihood of unhealthy behaviours, such as excessive eating, alcohol abuse and lack of exercise. Stress also raises blood sugar and prevents the release of insulin in those with type 2 diabetes.
Heartburn, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Stomach Ulcers can all be caused by too much stress. Stress can even disrupt the micro flora balance in the gut, which is crucial to immune and gastrointestinal health.
Oxidative stress and inflammation, the result of long term chronic stress, accelerate the aging process by shortening telomeres, the protective end caps of DNA strands. As telomeres become shorter, their structural integrity weakens, causing cells to age faster and die younger.
Stress raises levels of the hormone cortisol, which, if elevated in the evening, can contribute to frequent waking and poor sleep quality. Poor sleep decreases the ability to cope with stress during the day, leading to a vicious cycle of compromised sleep.
Chronic stress contributes to imbalances of the stress hormones cortisol and DHEA. Imbalances in these hormones can contribute to fatigue, reduced mental clarity and compromised health.
At Papillon we want to help you live your best life possible. We preach the importance of taking care of your whole self: mind, body and soul.
The good news is several lifestyle modifications and natural solutions are available to help you regain control and reverse the effects of stress. It is a relief to know that chronic stress does not have to be a part of your daily life. Our doctors will work with you to help identify key triggers and symptoms in your life. We may begin by testing levels of your body’s stress hormones, cortisol and DHEA in order to identify how your body adapts to stress. Then following an assessment of your specific needs, a comprehensive program will be developed to help you recover. The ARK stress recovery program may include nutrition, supplements, exercise, sleep and tools all to work together to reduce your stress.
We want to hear and understand your story and become a part of your journey to your best self. Our functional medicine doctors cant wait to meet you.