Stress and its Affects

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Stress and its Affects


It has been reported by experts that we are 100 times more stressed than our grandparents.  I remember hearing from people years back that “they should just suck it up and deal with it.”  That the label “stress” was an excuse or a copout for there actions or their sickness.  Let’s take a look at what research has discovered over the years about the stress response and how it affects us.

The stress response is a normal physiological occurrence.  In the short term or acute phase it is healthy.  The problem occurs when it lasts for a long time or becomes chronic.  The body releases a hormone called cortisol (there are other hormones that are released as well, we are just going to talk about one) during the stress response.
Cortisol should be elevated in the morning to help wake us up for the day and it should be low in the evening so we can go to sleep.  Melatonin is cortisol partner in the circadian rhythm.  They both need to be opposite of each other for us to get a good nights sleep and feel refreshed in the morning.
What happens when we are under long-term stress, is that cortisol stays high until evening and we have trouble getting to sleep and/or staying a sleep.  Hence, not a good nights sleep and we a far from being refreshed for the day ahead of us.

What are some side-effects of long-term elevated cortisol?  Well, it can increase our fat storage, decrease calcium in our bones, increase the firing of pain fibers, increase the breakdown of muscles and collagen.

It suppresses LH that gets released from the pituitary.  LH in males affects testosterone release, and LH in females affects progesterone release.  So with high cortisol you could see low testosterone in males and low progesterone in females.

High amounts of cortisol can suppress our immune system (which can lead to a stomach ulcer), cause expression of insulin resistance or hyperglycemia,  it can affect the thyroid receptor to be less responsive to thyroid hormones.

These are just a few damaging affects the high cortisol can have on our body.  Hopefully this shows the need to take care of our selves through proper food intake, calming exercises, nutritional compounds, massage, and chiropractic adjustment to name a few.

Contact my office to see how we can help reduce your stress and regain your health.  Call 616-920-0833.

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