Due to the fact that April is Stress Awareness Month, AgeFocus felt it was necessary to write a blog about the affects that stress has on the body. Stress is something that no one is immune too and in fact according to WebMD, more than half of Americans say they fight with friends and family because of stress.
The term “flight or fight” is commonly used to describe the physical response your body undergoes when you find yourself in a stressful situation. Your body, in a stressful circumstance, releases Cortisol, a hormone that increases heart rate, speeds up breathing, tenses your muscles and causes you to sweat.
Most of the time, your body recovers quickly and the stress is short term. But sometimes when people find themselves in a chronic state of stress, it can lead to very serious health problems. The constant release of cortisol into the blood stream can take its toll on the body, which causes premature aging as well as a weakened immune system.
The Bodies Physical Responses To Stress
Prolonged stress causes a physical response to the body including headache, fatigue, insomnia, restlessness, upset stomach, and mood swings. According to the National Library of Medicine, people who suffer from chronic stress are at risk for more serious health conditions that affect multiple systems of the body such as; the cardiovascular system with conditions like high blood pressure, arrhythmia, heart disease and an increased risk in heart attacks; the digestive system causing things like ulcers, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and drastic fluctuations in body weight; and chronic stress also causes skin conditions such acne, eczema, psoriasis as well as fertility problems.
Stress and Diabetes
Another aspect of cortisol is the fact that it raises blood sugar. For diabetics, this can be very dangerous. When you are stressed and if you are diabetic, cortisol will cause your blood sugar to rise, which according to the Mayo Clinic, when blood sugar is not kept in control can lead to many health complications such a blindness, nerve damage and kidney problems. Also people with diabetes have a hard time heeling infections and are known to also suffer from cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes later in life.
Stress and Aging
We also mentioned earlier that chronic stress could lead to premature aging. According to this article featured in Huffington Post, stress can have a harmful effect on your telomeres. Telomeres are the ends of the chromosomes that protect our DNA. According to TA Sciences, when telomeres are damaged, the DNA cannot do its job which is to make new cells. Soon the ratio of how many cells you lose verse how many cells you create will become greater, therefore scientifically speaking you are aging.
How AgeFocus Can Help With Stress
AgeFocus is known for their weight loss and age management programs. As previously mentioned, chronic stress can cause you to gain weight. This is due to how cortisol interacts with your thyroid and causes your body’s metabolism to slow down. We are known for our comprehensive medical exams that will pinpoint the exact reason for your weight gain. By running a few tests, we can determine whether or not long-term stress might be the underlying cause of your inability to lose weight. We will work with you to create a custom meal plan and exercise routine to help you lose the unwanted weight. In regards to our age management programs, we will help you reduce the amount of stress in your life. Our facility has a medical spa where we offer treatments like massages, facials, and everything you need to help remove stress from your life. We will also do a medical exam to check your hormone levels and help you keep them balanced.
For more information on stress and how it can impact your health, or to learn more about any of our services, give us a call at 631-243-3628 or fill out the contact form and a representative will get back to you shortly.