STRESS IS A KILLER! Heard that saying? Well its because it is. Let's look at just how stress affects your body from a physical point of view
In 1936, Hans Selye, a stress pioneer observed Three Stages of Stress responses whenever he injected an animal with a toxin:
The animal's adrenal glands enlarged
The animal's lymph nodes (and other lymphocyte-producing structures) shrank
Severe bleeding ulcers developed in the animal's stomach and intestines.
He theorized that the same pattern of changes occurs in the body in reaction to any kind of stress and that the pattern is what eventually leads to disease conditions, such as ulcers, arthritis, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, or diabetes. Selye called this pattern the general adaptation syndrome and identified three stages:
The body immediately responds to stress.
Various physiological changes occur that enable the body to combat stress (the fight-or-flight reactions).
Immediate reaction: depression of the immune system.
Brief stress: the body's response is limited to that of the alarm reaction. When the stress ends, so does the reaction. The body tends to bounce back and recover quickly.
The body makes physiological changes that enable it to adapt to prolonged stress. The body actually works overtime to bring immune response and resistance up to par.
The body's immune competencies actually stronger than it normally is, an attempt by the body to keep itself in fighting form.
There would be no problems if the body could maintain this level of resistance indefinitely; stress could go on forever, and no one would be the worse. But that's not how it works.
The body eventually loses the ability to keep up with the demands that stress puts on it and it enters the third stage, exhaustion. Simply stated, the body reaches its limit, it collapses. Immunity plummets. During stage three, immunity breaks down. The organ systems of the body malfunction. The life-preserving reactions are shut down. This results in diseases of adaptation, the diseases we know as stress related.
SO HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR BODY IS STRUGGLING WITH STRESS? HERE ARE SOME SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR:
Tendency to gain weight and unable to loose it, especially around the waist.
High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases and these symptoms tend to last longer than usual.
Tendency to tremble when under pressure.
Reduced sex drive.
Lightheaded when rising from a laying down position.
Unable to remember things and a bad memory or foggy head
Lack of energy in the mornings and also in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.
Often feel tired between 9 - 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.
Crave for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese as well as sugar and carbohydrates
Increase symptoms of PMS for women; period are heavy and then stop, or almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
Pain and extreme stiffness and tension in the upper back or neck with no apparent reasons and no form of therapy such as chiropractic, massage or physio seems to improve it.
Feels better when stress is relieved, such as on a holidays or weekends
Difficulties in getting up in the morning
Very quick tempered and easily angered
Headaches coming up from the neck over the vertex (top) of the head
Increase in smoking and drinking, grinding teeth (especially while sleeping), increase in eating and falling asleep straight after meals
Overwhelming sense of pressure and stress
Constant Worry and nervousness
Skin rashes resembling Discoid Lupus or Psoriasis – small round red bumps growing larger to form large round circles with raised edges and lighter or darker inside. The skin then dries up and dies off leaving scaly patches. Generally not painful.
Other signs and symptoms include:
Food and or inhalant allergies
Lethargy and lack of energy
Increased effort to perform daily tasks
Decreased ability to handle stress
Dry and thin skin
Hypoglycemia (LOW SUGAR)
Low Body Temperature or extreme heat and sweating on the hands feet and head
Unexplained hair loss
Alternating constipation and diarrhoea and Dyspepsia/heartburn
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