A Naturopathic & Holistic Approach To Chronic Stress- Dr. Angela Carlson, ND

Chronic Stress

Feeling stressed at times is normal, but unfortunately many people are experiencing much higher levels of stress that can overload your body and your health. Stress isn’t just mental and emotional, physical and environmental stress contribute greatly and can keep you in a negative cycle of chronic stress which can compromise your health.

Do you wake up each day with low energy?

Do you notice that small hiccups in your day seem to “set you off” and can cause your heart to pound or head to ache?

Do you notice that you get colds more often and always feel like you’re just trying to “get through” your day.

Does your mind race at night?

These are all symptoms of chronic stress and could also point to other imbalances.

Chronic Stress and Its Effects on the Adrenal Glands

Chronic stress has become an epidemic and is the most common complaint reported to primary care physicians. The stress response is a complex system that involves the brain, nervous system, and the adrenal glands, called the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis. When the brain perceives a stress, it signals the adrenals to make cortisol and the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline). Optimal cortisol levels are highest in the morning to help us wake up start the day and lowest in the evening to promote sleep. Long term stress leads to chronic activation of the HPA axis, which disrupts the cortisol rhythm as well as DHEA, melatonin, and epinephrine.

Nearly every organ including the gut, brain, thyroid, male and female reproductive system can be impacted, leading to a multitude of symptoms that can be quite devastating. 

Common Symptoms of Chronic Stress

People often feel wired, but tired, experience palpitations, anxiety, difficulties sleeping, dizziness with standing, low blood pressure, body aches, muscle pain, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, low libido, thyroid imbalances, poor exercise tolerance and recovery, brain fog, and cravings for salt and sugar.

Damage Caused by Chronic Stress

Cortisol increases blood sugar and over time can lead to insulin resistance or pre-diabetes. The immune system becomes suppressed, allowing for chronic inflammation and increased susceptibility to viral infections.

Causes of Chronic Stress

Chronic stress can be due to a multitude of things, including lack of sleep, a diet high in processed and junk foods, stimulants like caffeine and sugar, a rigorous work schedule, emotional trauma from unhealthy relationships or death of a loved one, over training, and lack of fun and loving relationships.

Chronic Stress and Its Effects on Adrenal Glands

Chronic stress can be due to a multitude of things, including lack of sleep, a diet high in processed and junk foods, consuming too many stimulants like caffeine and sugar, a rigorous work schedule, emotional trauma from unhealthy relationships or death of a loved one, over training, and lack of fun or loving relationships. Chronic internal stress can also be caused by certain biological imbalances that are typically not addressed by conventional practitioners. This included dealing with gut health as it relates to gut bacteria balances as well as issues with hormones.

The Functional Medicine Approach

With chronic stress there are many factors at play including lifestyle circumstances, the foods we eat, and imbalances in the gut and hormone dysregulation. Exposure to environmental toxins and even stealth infections are two other considerations that are typically over-looked. 

When it comes to chronic stress, it’s important to work with a functional medicine practitioner who can not only help with the mindset/emotional component, but also runs the correct testing to determine if gut disorders, food sensitivities or other imbalances are to blame for your high levels of chronic stress.

Dr. Angela takes a holistic approach to rebalancing the HPA axis (the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis) so you can be free of the vicious cycle of chronic stress.

Once you do the correct testing, she crafts a unique and precise protocol to fit your needs for better balance.

If you have been experiencing symptoms relating to chronic stress and are looking for answers, schedule an appointment with Dr. Angela today!

Take The First Step On Your

Journey Back To Health

Do you have questions you’d like to ask before you make a decision to become a client? Set up a free 30-minute Strategy Call with Dr. Angela Carlson, ND to explore your case, no obligation.

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