Natural Health &
Role of Stress in the Body
We all need a certain amount of stress to be able to live and survive. We need it to excel in our work or strive towards growth and fulfilment in different fields. Without it, life will become extremely boring. However, we need to balance periods of stress with regular healing phases of rest and relaxation in order to keep our bodies healthy.
Constant, unbalanced, and chronic stress must be avoided as far as possible or at least managed, because this kind of stress, tension and anxiety has probably become the most common and serious problem facing our health and well being in our time.
Stress is essential to spur us on, to motivate us and to provide the necessary stimulation to cope with the many challenging situations that we have to face from day to day. It also provides us with the sense of urgency and alertness when we are faced with threatening situations.
Stress is probably the most common cause of ill health in modern society. It can have a harmful effect on mental, physical and spiritual health. It is therefore essential that we manage our stress levels.
A variety of stress related symptoms may be experienced. This will vary from person to person. They include mental and emotional symptoms such as confusion, difficulty in decision making, panic attacks, inability to concentrate, short term memory loss, disorientation, depression, irritability, tearfulness, fits of rage and deterioration of personal appearance and hygiene, avoiding social contact.
Physical symptoms may include fatigue, bodily aches and pains, recurring infections, insomnia, digestive problems, headaches, loss of sexual desires, a reduced feeling of general well-
Stress is a significant contributory factor to Cardiovascular Disease. All people suffering from stress related abnormalities should examine their lifestyle and compile a list of priorities. One can recover from lifethreatening cardiovascular disease by adopting a holistic approach to health.
Diabetes is another serious disorder that can develop due to stress. The release of adrenal hormones under stress can have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. Large amounts of cortisol, secreted by the adrenals during stressful situations and acting to reduce metabolism of glucose by the cells, decrease insulin sensitivity. Prolonged high sugar levels can have detrimental effects on the body and will eventually lead to diabetes.
An overactive, or under active, thyroid and an imbalance in the adrenal glands can contribute to a Weakened Immune System, leading to chronic infections or even cancer. The secretion of insulin by the pancreas can be disrupted and can lead to hypoglycaemia or diabetes, or in people who already have diabetes; it can aggravate the situation or cause it to become uncontrollable.
Excessive stress over long periods will also damage the thymus gland, the manufacturer of white blood cells that regulate our immunity. Due to the stress situation, the hormones secreted by the adrenals will cause the thymus to shrink and less white cells will be available to fight of damaging invaders. High stress can thus result in reduced functioning of the immune system.
Over stimulation of the kidneys and bladder can lead to symptoms such as, incontinence, infections, low libido, severe menopausal problems, and even infertility. In the past high blood pressure, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, high cholesterol, and similar ailments were not nearly as common as they are today. One reason may be that in modern life we have to face relentless mental stress, fast technology changes as well as the use of cellular phones, the internet, laptops and other electronic devices which bombard us with irradiation.
Other disorders that are directly related to stress include asthma, digestive disorders, ulcers, depression, premenstrual syndrome, headaches, skin problems, high blood pressure, menstrual disorders, migraine, and auto-
It is often advisable to take supplements together with a balanced diet when under stress. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids are essential for optimum health and proper functioning of the bodymind-
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