Support Your Body While Under Stress

Anti-Aging and Stress

Your body’s response to stress and its ability to rejuvenate itself are diametrically opposing forces. Part of aging is a decrease in he production of Growth Hormone. Growth Hormone builds your body up and the stress hormone, cortisol, tears the body down.

Is stress getting the better of you? Stress can manifest itself emotionally, physically and behavioral. Frequently, all three areas
become affected simultaneously. Emotionally, stress may be expressed as moodiness, defensiveness, anxiousness, anger or irritability. Physically, stress causes muscle tension, fatigue, lower sex drive, ulcers, headaches and sleep disturbances. Behaviors which may be associated with stress include, drug, alcohol and food abuse or misuse, forgetfulness and depression. This list includes a few of the major signs and symptoms of stress, but certainly, not all of them.

The body’s universal response to stress is the release of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone and it is a necessary response for survival. The release of cortisol is part of the over all flight-or-fight response. Cortisol has the effect to slow down or stop the activity of everything in your body which is not geared toward the flight-or-fight response. If you are stressed, wound repair, fighting disease, digestion and reproductive activities take a back seat when your body perceives that its’ well-being is at risk. The typical American lifestyle is very stressful and promotes excessive cortisol release. The constant release of this hormone inhibits the body’s ability to rebuild and repair, sending the body into a state of breakdown. In other words, stress accelerates the aging process.

Your ability to counter stress is dependant in part on your nutrient reserves. Nutrients like the B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals get used up quickly from stress and should be replenished frequently. There are a group of supplements which help our bodies adapt to high levels of stress. This group of supplements is termed adaptogens. These would include the ginsengs, licorice root, specific amino acids and anti-oxidants. These adaptogen products support the body through stress by replenishing key nutrients.

The adrenal glands are responsible for keeping us going and play an important role in hormone health. Adaptogens support our adrenal glands and actually help balance our cortisol levels. Supplements taken to support energy levels and the adrenal glands should be taken in the morning and at lunch time, but dinner time is a little late in the day to be boosting your energy. Adrenal support supplements can be found at Incline Chiropractic The next article for this health column will be on natural, drug-free ways to boost your Growth Hormone.

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