Did you know that 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related complaints?
Sustained levels of stress create an unhealthy change in the levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) in our bodies…first the level goes high (which is ok for a short time) but if the stress is sustained, your body’s cortisol burns out, just like you do, and goes to a low cortisol state. Why does this happen? Well it is our brains way of protecting us from literally frying out on the high levels of cortisol!
The good news is that our brain doesn’t fry. The bad news is that a low cortisol state causes other issues including our adrenals to flame-out…
When this happens, we need to reset our system and restore health so that we have normal cortisol responses.
Let’s go over the symptoms or some of the common reasons for these stress-related doctor visits.
- Fatigue, lack of energy and exhaustion.
- Decreased immunity, frequent colds, flus, allergies.
- Aches and pains.
- Lack of mental clarity.
- Food cravings, especially sweets and salty foods with weight gain and difficulty maintaining weight.
- Depression, anxiety, nervous and irritability.
- Hormonal imbalances, irregular cycles, PMS.
- GI upset, constipation, diarrhea.
- Hair loss.
Hair loss is something I know too well. As a result of my chronic stress state I had the shocking revelation of severe hair loss on top of weight loss resistance, aches and pains, etc. This picture that I include in this email is just to show that hair loss may not a thyroid component or a mineral deficiency; but that hair loss can be correlated with stress.
What happens with this hair loss is that an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone called 5-alpha reductase is hyperactive and in women and men this leads to that male patterned baldness.
Something we never want to see.
This chronic low cortisol also creates a chronic low Oxytocin (our social/bonding hormone) level in many of us,
And I firmly believe that chronic stress is a reason for rapid aging and inflammation.
Time to take control of your stress response.
Cortisol (impacted by our daily and ongoing stressors) is one of those things we can’t live with too much of or too little of. There is a happy medium.
And I understand you can’t always remove those stressors! But maybe you can change your perceptions and responses to some of them.
Think about this wonderful – and very true – quote from Dale Carnegie,
“Everybody in the world is seeking happiness and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions it depends on inward conditions.”
This reminds me of something a professor in medical school said one time, “You are the only one who can upset yourself.”
I had protested, “No, my husband can really piss me off!”.
To which he had responded, “No, you choose how to respond. You are in control of your emotions.”
I have kept that as a strong reminder.
So how do we prevent flaming out on stress? How do we keep our Oxytocin flowing so that we can be more connected and present with those we love and care for?
In a future email I will talk about how to reverse and prevent burnout and disconnect caused by chronic stress. I will also give you some very useful tools.
But you can start working on this today.
The first thing I want you to do right now is take a look at your known stressors.
- Make 3 columns on a page and in the first write your stressors.
- In the second, write what you can do to gain control of each stressor.
- In the third column, write how you can look at each stress a bit differently.
For example, if a stress I have is preparing a healthy dinner each night, my control is to prep food in advance on Sundays, and my change in perspective might be, “I get to make healthy yummy meals for my family, I am blessed!” Another example, if you have a stressful commute, can you use the time to listen to an audio book or learn a foreign language? Then your perspective could be one of thanks for that opportunity and “alone time” to focus on something of interest to you.
The second thing you can do right now to prevent or repair your “flame-out” from stress is to start creating some hormonal balance and start supporting your adrenals.
One great and easy way to do this is to use my Mighty Maca™ Greens Superfood. Our research and customer testimonials show that Mighty Maca is helpful for blood sugar stabilization, decreases inflammation, helps balance your hormones and supports your adrenals.
Just 1-2 scoops of Mighty Maca in a glass with 48 ounces of water, stir and drink, quick and easy.
You can add it to your water bottle during exercise or throughout the day, a great way to recharge your body and support your stress-weary adrenals.
You can also add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to it for a Mighty Maca Morning Elixir that is sure to give you an energetic morning wake up. Sometimes I do this in the middle of my day as well.
And of course, you can add Mighty Maca to any green smoothie, any protein powder, and pretty much any soup or food recipe, Just get imaginative! And enjoy the taste…and the fact that you are putting such healthy nutrients into your body.
I’ll be providing you some additional delicious recipes in the future, along with more tips on how to reduce and prevent your burn-out!
And don’t forget to breathe! It is one of the easiest things you can do to help reduce your stress!
Wishing you a vida pura,
Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG, ABAARM
Creator of Mighty Maca
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