Stress - How it affects your health
We are all aware that stress is not healthy but do you know exactly how it affects your body? Development of conditions such as thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, infertility, menstrual irregularities, insomnia, depression, immune suppression, and osteoporosis have direct correlations to an increased stress response in the body. Below is part one of a series of articles called “The Stress Response”. To learn more visit the website at www.vitalityclinic.ca
The Stress Response:
• What is stress: any challenge to the body that has the potential to adversely affect balance and health in the body.
• How does the body respond: adaptation to stress either as a direct result of stressful environmental events, or the effect of detrimental internal psychological states.
• What parts of the body respond to stress: the endocrine system responds to stress by secreting a variety of hormones to restore balance.
• What is a maladaptive response: when the response to stress becomes more harmful than helpful. This is caused by chronic stress leading to endocrine dysfunction and disease.
• Fast facts:
• An estimated 40% of adult Canadians suffer physical consequences form the adverse effects of stress.
• Studies have found that 75 – 90% patient visits to primary care physicians are related to adverse events associated with psychological stress.
The Adrenal Gland Response to Stress:
• What are the adrenal glands: sitting above the kidneys, the adrenal glands are the primary organs that respond to stress
• Cortisol and adrenalin are the primary hormones that mediate stress; however, the stress response can cause a variety of complex events in the endocrine system that affects systems throughout the body.
• High Cortisol (hypercortisolism) is implicated in the following conditions:
• Functional hypothyroidism
• Function hypogonadism (leading to infertility)
• Loss of menstrual cycle
• Metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, abnormal lipid (fat) me