Stress Can Kill You!
Did you know that stress can kill us, literally? Well, maybe I am taking that a bit far, but stress causes inflammation to increase inside of the body, and that inflammation affects the gut lining, brain tissue, arteries, the heart, muscles and joints.
Now, let me re-word what I said. Stress can be the trigger for what causes our bodies to begin breaking down, prematurely. What does that mean? Eventually, the body can have a heart attack, develop a chronic health condition (autoimmune disease), or develop cancer.
That Dang Stress
One thing almost all patients tell me is this, “Dr. King, I have had a very stressful life!” It doesn’t matter if you have Hashimoto’s Disease, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, or just feel worn out…stress will make these health conditions worse.
We can’t avoid stress, that would be impossible. So, what do we do?
You need to eliminate any physiological stressors that could be causing your stress glands, the adrenals, to overwork.
Like what, Dr. King?
Here is a short list of what triggers I look for that drive the adrenal glands to kick out more inflammatory hormones:
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Lack of sleep
- Food sensitivities
- Autoimmune conditions
If those are occurring, the body will not heal, AND…your body will be under more stress causing more inflammatory hormones to be released.
How Do You Know How Well the Adrenals Are Working?
There can be a few ways of knowing if the adrenals are not working properly:
- Adrenal Stress Index test – this test measures your cortisol levels and maps them out throughout the day
- Basic blood tests
- Simple questions on intake forms
Also, if you can’t stay asleep, it is a good bet that the adrenal glands are not working properly throughout the day.
Check this out…
Have you, or someone you known, complained of getting up in the middle of the night to urinate?
Do you think that is normal? Not at all (unless you have a majorly inflamed prostate gland). So, why does this happen and what does urinating have to do with the adrenal glands?
During the day, if the adrenal glands are always pumping out cortisol, then at night the “proper levels” of cortisol can’t be secreted. This makes the body revert to the backup hormones, with adrenaline being one of those hormones.
Now, imagine you are on a safari, in Africa (pretty cool, eh). And you are lounging around your tent and all of a sudden, a HUGE, ferocious lion approaches you.
What does your body do? The heart starts to pump more blood to help the muscles get ready to run away, you get that “feeling” in the pit of your stomach (adrenaline), and you may have the urge to urinate. Why urinate? Because your body will do anything it can to get you the heck out there, and it doesn’t need the urine in your bladder to run. So, it will want to get rid of it.
Adrenaline at Night
If you get a spike of adrenaline at night, similar physiological functions kick in:
- Nervous system gets activated (like when the lion approached) – you wake up
- Your heart can be racing – patients tell me that sometimes they feel as if their heart is pounding and that is why they are waking up
- You will need to urinate
Long way to prove a point, but…hopefully, you now know that if you wake up to urinate at night, the adrenal glands need to be looked at.
A lot of people know that if the adrenal glands are not working well, they gain weight.
Cortisol = Weight Gain
This can be an accumulation of adipose tissue (fat) or water weight. Either way, when people are under more stress, you typically see weight gain (I assuming that over-eating is not a problem).
80% of the Immune System
Ok, what does urinating at night and gaining weight have to do with breaking down the body?
I am glad you asked!!!
High amounts of cortisol will eat away at the gastrointestinal lining, causing Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS). A healthy GI system is EXTREMELY important for a healthy immune system (the GI tract makes up for 80% of the immune system).
If your GI lining is breaking down, then the immune system becomes weaker and weaker.
On top of that, now the LGS is causing major inflammation in the blood, and the heart has to pump this “bad” blood (breaking the heart tissue down, along with the arteries).
Not the Brain!
We, also, know cortisol in excessive amounts will pass your blood brain barrier. You have a barrier that surrounds the brain protecting it from large foreign particles. Alcohol, medications, and hormones are some of the chemicals that will pass the blood brain barrier.
You know what happens when alcohol passes the barrier! When cortisol passes the barrier, it destroys neurons! Specifically, it targets the hippocampus, which when destroyed will cause dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (I watched my grandfather struggle with this the last five years of his life due in part to Type II Diabetes).
Now, you have the heart, arteries, gut lining, and brain, all breaking down! On top of that, you may be gaining weight, have horrible GI symptoms, brain fog, and your hormones are thrown off.
All because of stress and your body’s ability to handle it (or, not handle it).
If you are having some of those symptoms, reach out to me, and let’s get you healthy! You can click this LINK, to schedule a complimentary, 15-minute phone conversation.
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