When we’re young, we believe that we can get away with anything. What we don’t realize is how chronic stress can wreak havoc on our body, both physically and mentally. As we age, we discover that chronic stress can trigger many things in our body. I will share simple guidelines for you to follow that will help to prevent chronic stress.
In order to prevent chronic stress, you should:
- Sleep 7-8 hours daily
- Eat 3 balanced meals at reasonable times each day
- Maintain a healthy diet – lean protein, complex fiber, fruit and vegetables
- Exercise regularly – cardio 3x/week, resistance 2x/week
- Take ‘mental health breaks’ on a routine basis with family and loved ones
The body secretes the ‘stress response’ hormone, Cortisol, in response to physical or emotional duress. Cortisol’s function is to ‘prepare’ the body to meet these physical or emotional challenges by increasing the heart rate, blood pressure and level of alertness. In simplistic terms, this enables ‘fight or flight defense’ in event of ‘attack’.
But, here’s the problem: this very survival mode, unless quickly ‘unwound’, takes a serious long-term toll on health. Chronically high Cortisol impairs natural healthy metabolism:
Short Term – making us ‘dumb’ and ‘fat’!
Cortisol-triggered survival instincts – quick decisions based on minimal analysis – impair sharp strategic thinking ability. Caffeine (in coffee, tea and cola-like beverages) is a major stimulant of cortisol secretion. Too much caffeine might make us more alert but not ‘smarter’!
Insulin – secreted in response to cortisol – causes sugars (from ingested carbohydrates) to move out of the blood stream and become stored in the form of fat – increasing overall body fat and weight. As blood sugar levels decline ‘brain fog’ ensues.
Long Term effects – triggering heart disease, cancer and chronic illnesses
The body can only endure increased cortisol secretion for a limited time. Beyond that the adrenal gland responsible for secreting the stress response hormone becomes fatigued, resulting in decreased immunity to infection, reduced ability to repair the body and increased inflammation and tissue damage.
If you think you’re tough enough to sleep only 5-6 hours, skip breakfast, miss your work-outs or skip a vacation with your family – you’ve been warned! Change your lifestyle before it takes a permanent toll on your health!
Dr. Elizabeth Goldspink N.D. recommends: Adrenal Hormone Support
Plant adaptogens contained in Adreno-Mend can support symptoms of fatigue and enhance endurance as well as support normal mental and emotional well being. They can increase the body’s ability to resist and recover from stress while providing an overall feeling of balance and normalization. Andrenplus 300 supplies the appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals needed for maintaining adrenal health.
Dr. Elizabeth Goldspink N.D. recommends: Cortisol Urine Testing
It measures the amount of cortisol, often released in response to physical or emotional stress, in urine.
ELAINE CHIN, M.D., M.B.A. FOUNDER, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER North American trailblazer in Precision Medicine. Founder of Executive Health Centre, a Medical Wellness and Anti-Aging Clinic. Medical expert on CitylineTV and in Good Housekeeping Magazine’s GH Institute.