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Stress, the Ultimate Health Problem

I have been doing a lot of reading recently on stress and how much damage it can cause to the body. It has been amazing to find out what all stress can cause and to see a bigger picture on the toll it can take.

A study by the American Medical Association found that stress is a factor in 75% of all illnesses and diseases that people suffer from today.

Stress can cause the following health problems:

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Memory problems - Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Nightmares, disturbing dreams
  • Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
  • Trouble learning new information
  • Difficulty in making decisions

      Emotional Symptoms:

      • Moodiness
      • Irritability or short temper
      • Agitation, inability to relax
      • Feeling overwhelmed
      • Sense of loneliness and isolation
      • Depression or general unhappiness
      • Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
      • Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
      • Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
      • Sudden attacks of panic
      • Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
      • Increased anger, frustration, hostility
      • Depression, frequent or wild mood swings

      Behavioral Symptoms:

      • Eating more or less
      • Sleeping too much or too little
      • Isolating yourself from others
      • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
      • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
      • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
      • Little interest in appearance, punctuality
      • Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping
      • Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
      • Overreaction to petty annoyances
      • Increased number of minor accidents
      • Obsessive or compulsive behavior
      • Reduced work efficiency or productivity
      • Lies or excuses to cover up poor work
      • Rapid or mumbled speech
      • Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness
      • Problems in communication, sharing
      • Social withdrawal and isolation
      • Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs
      • Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
      • Increased or decreased appetite
      • Excessive gambling or impulse buying

      Physical Symptoms:

      • Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
      • Aches or pains that seem to come from nowhere (maybe inflammation)
      • Insomnia
      • Gritting, grinding teeth
      • Stuttering or stammering
      • Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
      • Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
      • Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
      • Ringing, buzzing or "popping sounds
      • Frequent blushing, sweating
      • Cold or sweaty hands, feet
      • Dry mouth, problems swallowing
      • Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
      • Rashes, itching, hives, "goose bumps"
      • Unexplained or frequent "allergy" attacks
      • Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
      • Excess belching, flatulence
      • Constipation, diarrhea
      • Difficulty breathing, sighing
      • Chest pain, palpitations
      • Frequent urination
      • Poor sexual desire or performance
      • Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
      • Weight gain or loss without diet

        I believe that stress can make you sick enough, both emotionally and physically to do as much damage to your body to even kill you. Stress isn't just formed from the emotional side it is also brought on by the environmental, medical, and or nutritional forces as well.

        We all know about stress being caused by our emotions but what about being caused by our environment. Pollution from the air we breathe or the water drink, swim, or bath in can all have taxing effects on our body. These environmental factors weigh heavy on the body and the body is in constant need of healing and detoxing. If the body doesn't get a break from this and time to completely heal it will start doing things like send signals to the adrenal glands to release hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol. The occasional dose of these hormones are okay and can even help save your life at times, but a regular dose can lead to problems like impaired memory and learning, depression, weight gain, diabetes, and more.

        What about the medical stresses? Yes, medications can stress the body too. This doesn't mean to NOT take you medication, but it does mean that you need to determine with your own research and judgment if the medicine you have been prescribed or currently take, is right for you. How can medicine stress the body? Medications are manmade chemical compounds that the body is not designed to handle. They block this or that or increase this or that and it just does things that the body is supposed to do on its own or with help from the foods that you are supposed to be eating. It is much like taking a boken machine and adding a part that doesn't really go with that machine but will temporally work. Overtime, that part will cause stresses in the machine and eventually cause it to break down again and the 2nd time is usually much worse. Why do you think doctors will start a someone out one one med, down the road they end up on 3 or 4 or more. They keep adding drug because they don't fix the problem they just bandaid it and they also cause other issues that call for more meds.

        Nutrition or lack of proper nutrition rather, can have stress affects too. Without getting proper nutrition or eating empty or bad calories it will cause your body to over work itself, leading to stress.

         

        The worst stress is when you are already sick, because it can make you even sicker. Take cancer patents for an example. I have seen may people go through cancer over the years, including my own mother who died in 1996. Out of all the people with cancer that I have seen, I have determined that there are 3 types of people. One, is the type that accepts it (maybe not right away) and deals with it the best that they know how. The 2nd is the type that almost takes it on as a challenge and fights it head on with whatever they can (meds or nutrition). Then there is the 3rd type that is defeated from the beginning and they go through it in anger. This 3rd type, and just for the record I completely understand why they might feel that way, but this mental outlook is a stress conductor and can cause them to be even more sick than they should be. Add medication and environment factors into that and you have a very unhealthy combination. I believe that people that have a disease/illness can recover much faster or even survive a terminal diagnoses with a stress-free environment, a good attitude, and a proper diet.

        The next post we publish should be on things you can do/eat reduce or eliminate stress.

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