No big deal, right? Wrong.
Stress is a really big deal, and not just psychologically. As part of the foundation of the Pyramid of Health, stress is one of the eight basic elements we must take into account in order to achieve optimal health.
Stress affects how we feel physically. Headaches, back pain, joint pain and other types of physical pain are all directly tied to our level of stress.
Stress is exhausting. We require energy to be stressful, which is why stress is so often followed by fatigue and depression. It taps and saps our energy supply.
Stress makes us fat. Stress causes the body to secrete cortisol – just one of the many stress hormones – which causes other hormones to become imbalanced and builds up body fat around the mid-section and the rump.
Stress causes inflammation. If we’re living in that “fight or flight” stress response that I’ve blogged about previously – not when a lion walks into the room, but in our day to day life – a high level of stress causes our bodies to produce chemicals that create inflammation – another part of the foundation of the Pyramid of Health.
Men and women process stress differently. Physiologically, men and women are hormonally different people, secreting different hormones in different amounts. It only makes sense that stress will impact men and women differently. For those of you who have seen me speak, you’ve heard the joke about the “bridge to Hawaii.” It’s no joke.
Stress is one of the main reasons why hypothyroidism is so rampant in our culture among women. Years and years of chronic stress burn out the thyroid, and the thyroid gland eventually becomes dysfunctional, which then affects the amount of hormones produced by the adrenal gland, liver, pancreas, ovaries and testes, creating a hormonal imbalance that requires intervention.
But that doesn’t mean stress is any less serious for men. In fact, cardiovascular research indicates that we become more susceptible to stroke and heart disease when we’re chronically stressed and plaque forms inside our arteries.
This is the year of the family, and none of us likes to see a family member stressed, in pain, or depressed. If you or a loved one wants to take back your health, we at Natural Healthcare Center can help you make lifestyle changes – nutritionally, physically and psychologically – that enable you to control your response to stress.
The end result? Less pain, less chance of chronic disease and illness, more energy and more happiness.
How is stress affecting you physically?
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.