Stress – A Modern Epidemic
Everyone experiences stress – in our busy modern world, stress is unavoidable; the deleterious health effects of stress, however, are avoidable. Common causes of stress include:
- Major life events – e.g. births, deaths, marriage, divorce, moving house, changing jobs, trauma.
- Personal relationships – e.g. conflict, deception, bullying.
- Work/study – e.g. exams, deadlines, responsibilities.
- Health issues – e.g. pain, chronic illness.
- Dietary and lifestyle issues – e.g. lack of sleep, poor diet, smoking, excessive intake of alcohol.
Note: Excess intake of carbohydrate food to stimulate insulin creates a platform for inflammation and stress hormones.
Supporting Healthy Stress Responses in our Patients
If left untreated, chronic stress may significantly affect health and wellbeing. To assist in management of stress and mood disorders we provide:
- High quality, scientifically validated formulas for effective clinical management of chronic stress and mood disorders.
- Comprehensive treatment strategies for successful long-term mental and emotional health solutions.
- Holistic, natural medicines to assist patients manage stress more effectively and regain optimal wellbeing.
- Herbal and nutritional formulations that are easy to prescribe and convenient for our patients.
- Safe, effective natural medicines that can be recommended with confidence in clinical practice.
Chronic stress is extremely common and dysfunctional HPA axis and SNS responses are often underlying causes of other disorders. Therefore, helping you better cope with the stress in your life is a fundamental part of effective clinical practice.
Chronic Stress Causes Dysfunctional Neuroendocrine Responses
Our HPA axis and SNS are part of our neuroendocrine system. The HPA axis regulates the release of “stress hormones” such as adrenaline and cortisol to ensure that our response to stress is appropriate and effective. Complementary to this, the SNS releases neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline to activate our “fight or flight” response.
Excessive HPA activity and/or excessive SNS activation can cause a hyperactive stress response, producing symptoms such as anxiety, tension, insomnia, irritability and digestive disturbances. Extremely severe or prolonged stress can deplete the HPA axis and SNS to such an extent that the patients collapse into a hypo-active stress response, producing symptoms such as mental and physical fatigue, exhaustion, sadness, withdrawal and depressive behaviour.
We also have a comprehensive mood disorder questionnaire appraisal to help identify neuro-chemical imbalances. It shows which are most deficient, enabling us to assist in re-balance with speed and accuracy.
See a sample test result here:
The Complex Biochemistry of Stress
As scientific studies uncover more and more information about the complex interplay between factors that contributes to stress and mood disorders, it has become apparent that defining a patient’s stress response as either hyper- or hypo-active is an oversimplification (see Figure 1 below).
Figure 1: The complex interplay between factors that contributes to stress and mood disorders.
- Tired for no reason?
- Having trouble getting up in the morning?
- Dependant on coffee to keep you going?
- Feeling run down and stressed?
- Constantly feeling overwhelmed?
- Having menstrual problems which get worse as you age?
- Dragging yourself through every day?
- Craving salty or sugary snacks?
- Struggling to keep up with life’s daily demands?
- Unable to bounce back from stress or illness?
- Not having fun anymore?
- Experiencing decreased sex drive?
- Simply too tired to enjoy life?
- Can you say “I haven’t felt well since…”
- Do you find that your allergies, skin problems, asthma or health issues get worse when you are stressed?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions you are likely experiencing adrenal fatigue.
Factors such as poor nutrition, obesity and inflammation combine with chronic environmental stress to affect the chemical messangers in our bodies: neurotransmitters, hormones and cytokines. The production and breakdown of neurotransmitters, hormones and cytokines needs to be carefully orchestrated and maintained within homeostatic limits for optimal health. Wellbeing and effective stress-coping mechanisms rely on these chemical messangers to be balanced.
To find out more about adaptagens and what type of product may suit you from a consulation; click here to read about products to help balance and relieve stress response.
To find out why magnesium is so important for stress management click on:
For help with your stress please click on this ‘stress management‘ pdf for some simple free tips.
Sometimes the heart is affected under stress together with high cholesterol. The following pdf is on an ayurvedic herbal formula and nutrients for improving heart function ( available through Natural Health & Detox with an appointment.)
For some tips on quality sleep, click on this Sleep pdf.
Terminalia Arjuna – An Ayurvedic cardio protective botanical herb being used in Ayurveda since 2500 B.C
Clinical studies about the Ayush – Arjuna Heart