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Health Impacts of Ignoring Stress

Stress is something that we have all experienced during life. When we experience short-term stress, this is normal, but chronic stress that is unaddressed can contribute to several health conditions.

Health Impacts of Ignoring Stress

Chronic stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, cortisol imbalances, heart disease, memory impairments and HPA axis dysfunction.

Adrenal fatigue

Although adrenal fatigue isn’t a medical term it is often used to describe symptoms such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness and digestive problems. The adrenal gland produces powerful hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that helps regulate our daily energy needs, helps with stress, and controls blood sugar levels. If our adrenal gland isn’t functioning properly then our cortisol and sugar levels will be out of balance.

What is HPA axis?

The HPA axis is not a term commonly used but stress can have a substantial impact on this. HPA stands for hypothalamic pituitary and adrenal axis. These three glands are key for a healthy endocrine system. They help the body regulate cortisol levels and maintain homeostasis. The HPA and sympathetic nervous system are what control our stress response.

When our body is exposed to stress this axis is active and begins releasing cortisol and other hormones to help our body heal. When it is acute stress then the body will use the hormones to deal with the issue and then return to homeostasis or balance. When we have unresolved stress which becomes chronic these glands stop functioning properly leading to numerous health issues.

Health Impacts of Ignoring Stress

Coping with Stress

There are many strategies and lifestyle shifts you can make to help your body function properly again. One key strategy is to monitor your sugar consumption. Make sure you review all your sugar consumption and make diet changes as needed. There are several natural ways to reduce your blood sugar levels.

Adding exercise to your daily routine is an effective stress management tool. Physical activity should occur earlier in the day to coincide with your cortisol levels. Our cortisol is naturally higher in the morning and dwindles by the end of the day. Consider doing things like yoga or other gentle exercises in the evening.

Health Impacts of Ignoring Stress

Foods for Stress Relief

There are several types of food that can naturally help support our body. We have explored some of the superfoods like dark leafy greens which can stimulate the serotonin neurotransmitters to fight depression. Avocados are full of minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats that help to control blood sugar.

There are several herbs that are adaptogens that help the body to combat stress. (Before taking any adaptogens consult with your medical provider.)

Adaptogens have been around for years, recently science has shown they are helping to improve the body respond to internal and external stress, improving mental performance and endurance.

Supplements Ideal Weights store at FullScript

Adaptogen herbs to consider:

Ashwagandha is believed to have adaptogenic, antioxidant and immune-supporting properties. Some studies have shown that it can be an effective herb for addressing stress in adults.

Rhodiola is known in traditional Chinese medicine for its ability to reduce stress.

Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is used in traditional Chinese medicine due to having numerous therapeutic properties. It is often used to support people suffering from various fatigue related concerns.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a shrub that grows in Asia and Russia. This herb also is used for supporting those with fatigue.

Schisandra is a fruit that has been supportive of stress and fatigue.

Herbs can be a beneficial addition to your health care routine. It is important to consult your health care provider because some herbs can negatively affect medicines.

To ensure you are supporting your body eat a diet of whole clean foods, exercise and find activities that bring you joy.


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