The term optimal stress management implies a balanced state of wellness between your mental and physical health. The body was designed to respond to short bursts of normal stress, followed by periods of recuperation and relaxation. However, persistent stress can
cause continuous elevation of stress hormones such as noradrenaline, adrenaline and cortisol, which can make you more vulnerable to a variety of symptoms and medical conditions.
Stress is frequently referred as to the “silent killer”. According to the American Psychological Association, two out of three office visits to primary care physicians were for medical conditions where stress played a significant role.
Do you get a full 7 ½ to 8 hours of sleep every night?
Do you wake up feeling refreshed each morning?
Do you have sustained energy throughout the day without needing caffeine and other stimulants?
If you have answered “NO” to any of these questions, your brain and body may be affected by the high levels of stress which can interfere with your work, personal and social lives. But you are not alone—most people will likely answer “NO” to all these questions.
The normal stress response requires well-functioning systems (HPA Axis and the Sympathetic Nervous System). The HPA axis includes the Hypothalamus, the Pituitary glands and the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce numerous hormones, among them is cortisol. These systems regulate your body’s flight or fight immediate stress response, which is essential to protect us from danger or quickly and appropriately responding to a potential threat. Unfortunately, the body often cannot distinguish between your life being in physical danger and the chronic stress of daily life.
Impaired HPA axis function is becoming common as we live in a society that praises workaholics, less sleep, and the use of stimulants like coffee throughout the day for energy.
Due to chronic stress, the hormone “cortisol” can stream through your system all day long, which is what makes it so dangerous. Stress can also reduce neurotransmitter output, or a neurotransmitter imbalance (brain chemicals). Excess cortisol can cause many health problems including weight gain, digestive problems, hormone imbalances, fatigue, forgetfulness, lowered immune system responses, and mood imbalances.
Most of the effect of cortisol in the brain occurs “behind the scenes”, for example:
- Stress creates free radicals that kill brain cells
- Chronic stress makes you forgetful and emotional
- Stress creates a vicious cycle of fear and anxiety
- Stress halts the production of new brain cells
- Stress depletes critical brain chemicals – causing depression
- Stress puts you at greater risk for mental illnesses of all kinds
- Chronic stress contributes to brain and body inflammation
- Stress contributes to insomnia, fatigue and lack of energy
Now at The Aesthetic & Wellness Center, we provide a comprehensive evaluation of your stress related symptoms. This analysis will provide the basis for the best personalized treatment. It will help manage the secondary effects from chronic stress by improving your HPA axis dysfunction and neurochemical imbalances and optimize your body’s management of stress.
Give us a call today at (941) 749-0741.
Dr. Inda Mowett is certified in Bariatric Medicine (non-surgical medical weight loss). She is one of 400 physicians nationwide specialized in this field.