The Many Faces of Stress??? Part 1

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By: Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Stress comes in many sizes, shapes and forms.  Many people only equate stress in the category of mental or emotional.  Things like paying the bills, difficulty in a relationship or a death of a loved one etc…  Theses stressors are very damaging but there other hidden stressors that may fly under the radar of most people.  Some stressors may be a little bit out of our control, but my goal is here is to make sure you are equipped with as many tools as possible so the stress that you can control becomes a speed bump and not a road block in your life.

 

Stress for the most can be put into 3 categories (like a triangle):

This picture really sums up my working philosophy.  So as you can see outside of the “Mental/Emotional” stressors there are 2 other sides of the triangle that go commonly ignored.  Today’s blog will focus on just the physiological stressors, and simple things we can do to address them.

 

Physiological Stress:  This type of stress commonly comes from 3 areas.

 

1.  Food: Nutrient density, blood sugar stability and food allergens.

  • Eating high quality nutrient dense foods are very helpful in providing the raw materials to help your body recover from daily stress.  Our body’s are in a constant balance of building up and breaking down and as long as we build up faster than we break down then we can stay in a state of “Health Aging” instead of “Accelerated Aging.” Remember 70% of our brain outside of water content is fat.  I find many people today are fat phobic and are worried about fat causing heart disease.  Because of this scare many patients are deficient in important building blocks and are walking around with brains that aren’t functioning optimally.
  • If Parkinson’s, Alzheimer, MS or any other neurological condition runs in your family it’s really important that you avoid common food allergens that are repeatedly found in the Scientific literature to affect and accelerate the break down of certain parts of your brain.  Thankfully now we have tests that can actually predict up to a decade in advance if this is happening to you, which gives us the time to make the changes to help reverse these conditions from progressing.  Removing all grains is a good start, and if anyone interested in running these new state of the art lab tests please contact the clinic.
  • Every time your blood sugar fluctuates up and down or high to low usually we see people’s energy or mood fluctuate in the same pattern.  Fueling your body with with protein and fat every 3-5 hours helps blunt these blood sugar and mood swings and lowers the amount of stress hormone our body produces.  Many patients I see live there life on blood sugar roller coaster daily and don’t know how to get off this dangerous ride.

2.  Toxins:  Heavy metals, pesticides, xenoestrogens, molds, radiation etc…

  • Did you know we have about 2 billion pounds of chemicals are dumped into our environment every year?  Most of the chemicals are hormone mimickers, meaning they are very similar to estrogen like hormones in our body.  When our body is thrown into a state of estrogen dominance it is very common to see weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and PMS to name just a few.
  • Heavy metals like mercury which are common in silver filling that your typical dentist would use to fill a cavity.  These heavy metals are know to have a negative effect on thyroid function and can cause low energy and weight gain.
  • We are constantly exposed to these wide spread damaging compounds it’s smart to do an integrative detox program to help get these chemicals out of our body.

3.  Infections:  Parasites, fungus, bacteria and viruses.

  • As our immune system becomes weakened to many of the stressors above we tend to see these opportunistic infection gain a foothold into the body and can cause many problems.  Usually during stressful times in our life are the times we are most susceptible.  It’s important to note that about 50% of people that develop a parasitic infections don’t even experience gastro-intestinal symptoms.
  • Travelers abroad have an increased risk of infection of these infections.  Having high quality digestive enzymes, drinking bottled water and avoiding any local places that may look a little suspicious can also help.
  • It is good prevention to check once per year to make sure you don’t have any of these lingering critters.  Any time you are experiencing excessive gass or bloating even with a healthy diet and lifestyle it may be a good time to get checked.
Great Ways to Improve Recovery and Decrease Stress:
  • Chamomile Tea before bed.
  • 800mg of Magnesium before bed.
  • Get your adrenal cortisol rhythm checked (this looks at your stress hormones through the day and how they fluctuate).
  • Stool Test for GI infections.
  • Keep “Bach Flower Essence” by your desk and anytime someone drives you crazy, take 4 sprays.
  • Chiropractic and or Massage can help decrease the body’s flight or fight reponse from the nervous system and help it to relax and repair.
  • Heart Math Em-Wave2, more on this in posts to come.  I just bought one and I really enjoy it!
Next blog will focus on the “Physical/Structural” side of the stress triangle.

 

 

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