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The Connection Between Stress and Hormone Balance

Stress is a word that we hear a lot today. You hear people talk about how “stressed out” they are. But what exactly is stress? Are there different kinds of stress? How does stress affect us and our bodies?

If you asked, a person might define their stress as events, such as a looming deadline at work, or too many bills and not having enough money to pay them, or perhaps a bad argument within one’s family where they feel as if they must choose one side or the other. But actually, stress is not at all what you think it is. It is not any of those things. Stress is actually a physical reaction within the body that occurs as a result of events that happen to a person in his or her daily life. So, stress is not the daily life event itself, but instead, the body’s reaction to that event. 

Did you know that stress can actually be a good thing? The stress response in the body can keep a person alert and protect them from danger in an otherwise dangerous situation. Also, it is not necessarily a bad thing for the body to experience some stress from time to time. It is healthy and keeps our senses sharp, even if it can be unpleasant to live through. 

It is only when the body has too much stress, or when it is in a constant and prolonged state of stress, that it becomes bad for the body. Too much (or constant) stress in the body can manifest itself in noticeable bodily symptoms. It can actually create an imbalance in your hormone levels. When these levels are out of balance many, many problems can arise. 

Some people develop headaches, anxiety or depression as a result of stress. Others get a stomachaches or other tummy trouble. Still others experience a rise in blood pressure or chest pain, which can be frightening when it occurs. Many people under lots of stress have trouble sleeping at night. 

They may either have trouble falling asleep, or they may experience night waking, may be unable to stay asleep all night, and may have difficulty falling back to sleep once they have woken up in the middle of the night. Also, if a person already has a disease such as asthma or a chronic condition such as arthritis or type 2 diabetes, the constant barrage of stress has the potential to make the disease or condition worse.

It is estimated that about 43% of adults suffer from the effects of stress on the body. Some stress in life is normal. It just becomes bad for the body when there is no period of rest or relaxation; no break from the stress so the body can unwind and let go of its constant state of heightened alertness. 

People try to help themselves relax or unwind from the day’s stress by using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, but all too often, this has the opposite effect. Instead of relaxing the body, these substances actually keep the body “wound up” and do not help to stop the body from continuing the stress reaction at all.

If you have a lot of events in your life which cause you to experience stress and unpleasant side effects in your health, you should make an appointment to see your healthcare provider so they can help you to eliminate some of your stress, and help to alleviate your physical symptoms as well.  

For personalized support on your journey to hormonal balance, menopause, stress, and overall wellness, reach out to us at Let us help you achieve optimal health with actionable insights and expert guidance.

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