Stress can cause physical, mental, and emotional symptoms such as allergies, dizziness, headache, heart palpitations, environmental sensitivity, impaired coordination, impaired immunity, and weight gain.
Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in a healthy body, and a blood glucose level of 60-120mg/dl is maintained without regard for carbohydrate consumption. Carbohydrates are easily converted to glucose in the glucose-intolerant population, and the pancreas responds to this change in blood sugar by secreting an excessive amount of the hormone insulin. Insulin’s role is to remove glucose from the bloodstream and assist it in entering body cells. When done correctly, blood glucose levels return to normal regardless of the amount of carbohydrate consumed. If this system fails, there is a rapid rise in blood glucose followed by an overproduction of insulin. Excess insulin is not recognized by body cells and thus is unable to remove glucose from the bloodstream. The result is an increase in blood insulin levels, which stimulates appetite.
Weight gain is frequently associated with emotional eating and the too-busy-to-exercise lifestyles of chronically stressed people. However, researchers are discovering that stress-induced changes in the body, such as elevated cortisol levels, can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain.
Corticotrophin-releasing hormone and adrenalin are excreted by the body during times of stress. This reaction causes the adrenal cortex to release cortisol. Cortisol, a glucocorticoid, stimulates glucose release into the bloodstream, resulting in an excessive release of insulin during periods of chronic stress. Insulin, an endocrine system hormone, is a fat-storage hormone that overrides the stress signal from adrenalin to burn fat. Excess insulin release sends a signal to the body to store fat in the abdomen.
Consider the foods that women crave when they are stressed—carbohydrate-rich, often sugary comfort foods. Carbohydrate cravings are triggered by stress. This, in conjunction with the hyperinsulinemia (insulin resistance) state that many people are in, creates a recipe for weight gain. Chronic stress is a significant contributor to the obesity epidemic, which has 50 percent of the population overweight and another 29 percent obese. When people are stressed, they tend to gravitate toward and reach for comfort foods such as French fries, chocolate bars, and ice cream.
The issue isn’t simply that people eat too many carbohydrates, and that if they deprive their bodies of these foods, they’ll become lean and healthy again. Carbohydrates are required by the body for brain fuel, fiber, and phytonutrients. Rather, the metabolic dysfunction in carbohydrate processing must be corrected.
Stress Management Techniques
- Keep track of your food intake, including what foods you eat and how much you eat when you’re stressed. This can be a useful objective measure of what to reduce in the future.
- Develop health-conscious eating habits.
- Let’s talk about it.
- Exercising Laughter
- Plan and prioritize your time creatively
- Consider the positive.
- Be kind to yourself and thank God for everything you have.
- Relaxation should be practiced.
- B vitamins, particularly B3, B6, and B12. Niacin(B3) levels recommended for various age groups range between 25 and 100 mg/day. Vitamin B6 is usually taken in doses of 2050 mg per day. Vitamin B12 is required for nerve-tissue metabolism and a healthy nervous system because it feeds the myelin sheath, which insulates nerve conduction. The daily recommended dose of vitamin B12 is 100 mcg.
- De-Hydro Epi Aldosterone (DHEA) – The typical DHEA dose is 25-50 mg/day, but doses should ideally be individualized due to the lack of an established RDI for this supplement.
- Vitamin C- The most common vitamin C dose is 250 mg per day, but higher doses of up to 2 g per day may be required.
- Relora is a new agent derived from the Magnoliaceae plant family through plant-based extraction. After two weeks on relora, 80 percent said they felt more relaxed, and 75 percent said they slept better. This study has not yet been published. An independent research firm was recently commissioned by a relora manufacturer to administer 50 dietary supplement users’ 23 capsules containing 200 mg relora daily for two weeks. The subjects were professional women who stated that their lives were hectic and stressful.
- Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) (Panax quinquifolium). Ginseng should be taken in doses of 200600 mg per day, with at least 5% ginsenosides. Ginseng has traditionally been used as a stress reliever in a three-week on, two-week off regimen. It may take several weeks for a clinical effect to be noticed.
- Root of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). The recommended ashwagandha dose is 450 mg two to three times per day, standardized to contain 1.5 percent withanolides per dose.
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea), also known as Arctic root. Currently recommended doses are 50100 mg twice daily, standardized to contain 1% salidroside or 4050% phenylpropanoids per dose.
- Holy basil, also known as tulsi or sweet basil (Ocimum sanctum). Holy basil doses of 400 mg daily are currently recommended, with each dose standardized to contain 1 percent ursolic acid.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. What really matters is how much stress there is, what kind of stress there is, and how each individual handles the stress they are subjected to. Long-term stress has a physical impact because the body tries to adjust to metabolic changes. If lifestyle changes such as quitting a stressful job, exercising, and meditating do not work, biochemical and nutritional factors may be beneficial. Pharmacists have the ability to educate their customers about nutritional therapy and have a long-term impact on their health.
The Content is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider.