Lifetimes Fitness - Atherstone

Get Advice

Click here for category suggestions

Stress

Large_shutterstock_94267417
Many of us will have experienced some symptoms that may be linked to stress. The following looks to help you answer some of the following questions. What is stress? What are the causes of stress? What can we do to alleviate the symptoms of stress? 

Stress and its causes 

Modern life has many pressures on an individual with society having seemingly ever increasing pressures and responsibilities. It is only natural that the body has to react to any demands on it, whether they are physical, emotional, spiritual or intellectual. Every element of ‘stress’ affects us physically. The body reacts by releasing chemicals and adaptations in an attempt to cope with the pressures put upon our bodies. This is fine in the short term but prolonged periods of high demands on the body can be detrimental to both our physical and mental health leading us to exhibit certain symptoms.  There are lots of situations that can add ‘stress’ to the body and mind and lead to physical symptoms. Common causes of stress are traumatic events and bereavements; relationship difficulties and discord within the family; career and financial pressures; or simply the contemplation of the great unknowns in life. 

 

Fight or Flight?

You may have heard this term before but put simply this refers to a baser instinct within the human condition when a person is exposed to danger.  When the body is stressed two small glands on top of the kidneys called adrenal glands, secrete a cocktail of hormones including adrenaline which provides the body with an instantly burnable source of power. This response is a natural design which allows our animal self to react to danger through the process of either fight or flight, empowering us with the ability to either run away from danger or confront and fight it. 

If the fight or flight impulse is employed frequently over time and the body is forced to release large amounts of ‘stress hormones’, it can lead to a depletion of nutrient and energy reserves which can cause the body to be in a state of ‘exhaustion’. This exhaustion can lead to some other adverse bodily reactions:

  • An increase in blood pressure and cholesterol – which can have adverse effects on heart health. 
  • An increase in the production of stomach acid 
  • A decrease in sex hormones and loss of libido 
  • A decrease in glucose supply to the brain which can impair cognitive function
  • A strain on the immune system as it reacts to these symptoms leaving the subject more susceptible to illness

 

What are the symptoms?

  1. Feelings of anger or irritability
  2. Insomnia 
  3. Fatigue 
  4. Nervousness
  5. Headaches
  6. Loss of libido
  7. Feelings of apathy or pessimism 
  8. Nausea
  9. Constipation
  10. Diarrhoea 
  11. Difficulty concentrating

If you have any of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time it is vital that you see your doctor. Stress can lead to a multitude of health problems so it is important to receive correct medical advice. If you already suffer from any psychiatric conditions you must consult your doctor before thinking about taking any supplements. 

 

What can we do to alleviate the symptoms of stress?

Please refer to the article on Supplements for Stress for advice on alleviating symptoms of stress.