Stress and the Disease Connection

February 2016 - Health & Wellness

Medical research suggests that up to 90 percent of all illness and disease is stress-related. Currently 20 – 30 year olds have the highest levels of stress, while teenagers are have the highest rate of depression. In past generation these levels of stress were not seen until adults reached 30 – 40 years of age. The current fast pace environment and constant connection on digital platforms, is what many believe has caused the shift in the affected age groups.

Here are the top 5 points as presented by Dr. Karen Jensen, ND, and Dr. Marita Schauch, ND in their Wellness Talk presentation this week.

  1. It’s all perception.
    People experience stress when they perceive that there is an imbalance between demands made of them and the resources they have available to cope with those demands. New research shows that the ‘attitude of gratitude’ has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and a kinder behaviour toward others

  2. Keep your liver healthy.

    The liver is the organ most affected by toxic stressors. Detoxification, inactivation and excretion of toxic chemicals, drugs, and hormones all take place within the liver. If it is not functioning at an optimal level then it becomes sluggish and can allow these toxins to add more physical stress on the system.

  3. Get some sleep!

    Research shows that after only 1 night of sleep restricted to 4 hours, the stress hormone called cortisol had levels that were 37% higher on the day following the ONE night of restricted sleep. Even modest sleep deprivation causes a profound disruption in the cortisol, and increases the negative effects of stress.

  4. Chronic inflammation.

    Inflammation is at the root of so many chronic diseases – but stress is a main cause of inflammation. In addition to inflammation affecting the brain and some mental health disorders, gut /brain connection is more recently being studied.Cortisol blocks the initial inflammatory response and in small quantities it is very useful and essential in tissue repair and controlling inflammation. Prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response – cells become insensitive to cortisol’s regulatory effect and Inflammation gets out of control.

  5. Treat your adrenals early.

    In today’s world most people suffer from some degree of adrenal fatigue, some more debilitating than others. Addressing Adrenal fatigue as soon as possible will help prevent many unwanted symptoms or conditions down the road. If adrenal function is low it can lead to many other health conditions such as; low thyroid, Insomnia, Anxiety, and lowered immune function just to name a few. As you can see it can easily turn into a vicious circle of stress causing adrenal dysfunction, and then adrenal dysfunction leading to more and more stress.
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