“How can stress damage your body if it’s a mental thing?”
This was a question that one of my houseful of adult kids asked me today.
Well yes, stress is a “mental” thing isn’t it?
I mean we all react to stress in different ways – it doesn’t seem to bother some people, others just seem to put up with it and still others just fall apart.
Most of us have probably heard the term “fight or flight” which is our body’s response to stress. A burglar comes climbing through your window in the middle of the night – your body’s adrenaline kicks in and gives you the physical coping mechanism to bash him over the head or run for the hills.
That adrenaline rush is so powerful ordinary people have lifted cars off accident victims and pulled off car doors to save loved ones.
And then the surge of adrenaline drops off (as your shock wears off) and those panic hormones return to normal.
But let’s face it, real life panic situations don’t happen every day do they?
Let me tell you another story… an every day kind of story.
One of my other young adults, let’s call her Tina, has a younger brother with a possible learning disability, a mother who suffers from incredible anxiety and a father who left the family when she was young. Tina grew up in a family where she needed to be the responsible person from a very young age. I often hear her parenting her mum over the phone, she’s angry at her dad for not providing her brother with a father figure and she suffers from panic attacks due to anxiety that has built up over many years – and she’s only 22.
Tina’s fight or flight hormones are being released constantly.
What’s happens when you have a constant release of hormones that should only release for real panic situations?
Your body literally tells you it can’t handle stress.
Tina’s body tells her by:
- food allergies like gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance
- low stomach acid
- panic attacks
- chronic anxiety
- inflamed stomach lining
- upset stomach
I’ve seen loved ones stressed and suffering from:
- chronic fatigue
- weight gain
Even when I think I’ve got my own stress covered mentally, I suffer from:
- grinding teeth
- tension headaches
- sore neck and back
- heart palpitations
stress has physical symptoms
that let you know
your body isn’t coping
People more often than not, mistake these symptoms for an illness (maybe it’s cancer, maybe I have a brain tumor, maybe I’m getting an ulcer) and they visit their doctor in the hopes of a medication that will make it go away.
Well medication does NOT make stress symptoms go away!
Just take my beautiful daughter ended up with chronic fatigue at just 18. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her even after they ran a battery of tests. They misdiagnosed and gave her medication to “see if it worked”.
But her chronic fatigue was caused by a combination of stress and poor nutrition which damaged her digestive system – you can read about it here.
Stress and nutrition are very closely intertwined.
When stress inflames the digestive system, the health of your gut is severely affected too.
And gut health has direct links with autoimmune diseases, ADHD, mental health and many other diseases.
The root cause of all health issues will start with stress, poor nutrition and inactivity.
If you’d like some ideas on managing stress, click here for an instant download to 6 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life During Stressful Times. I hope they help!