Functional Solutions For Functional Conditions

Stress Management

How stress impacts our health

Stress is often regarded as a negative experience in our daily lives.

While the presence of short-term or acute stress is a natural part of the human experience, individuals experiencing chronic stress are at risk for developing other conditions. When the brain perceives a stress trigger it sends a message to the adrenal glands to release cortisol (the stress hormone). Cortisol acts on the body by preparing it to either fight or fly from the threat; breathing becomes shallow and quick, heart rate increases, resources are redirected to the limbs in order to help the individual defend themselves, digestion and other hormones responsible for growth and reproduction are temporarily halted. Long-term, unmanaged stress can trigger or worsen acid reflux and other digestive issues (constipation, diarrhea), negatively affect metabolism and lead to fat gain especially around the waist, impinge upon restful sleep (which also leads to weight/fat gain), and worsen mood symptoms. The presence of cortisol also has a negative effect on the production of sex hormones; individuals may experience a decrease in libido or altered menstrual cycles.


The Naturopathic approach:

First, it is imperative to identify the root cause of stressors. Often other conditions have an underlying stress-related factor where the presence of an anxiety-provoking stimuli worsens symptoms of other diseases. From a functional medical perspective, our treatment approach is to support the body in effectively managing stressful stimuli. Doing so allows for resources to be allocated for healing and rest. For instance, an individual who may be experiencing pain in their back/shoulders/neck area find that their symptoms are worsened in the presence of chronic stress. Treatment includes managing pain with botanicals/vitamins/acupuncture, while prevention and exacerbation are managed by addressing the source of stress. Another example includes an individual who may wish to lose weight and find they experience difficulty during periods of duress; the threatened body allocates resources towards survival, and away from rest and healing.

Stress affects everyone in unique ways. Our highly trained naturopaths work with you to address the sources, recommend condition-specific botanicals and vitamins, and develop a management plan to prevent reoccurrence of complications due to chronic stress.

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