It is well known that excessive stress is bad for us – it can be toxic and affect our immune system. Stress triggers a release of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, and when it comes to our immune system, cortisol is essential for modulating levels of inflammation in the body.
While science indicates that there is a good amount of stress to have, called eustress (a positive form of stress that has a beneficial effect on health, motivation, performance and emotional wellbeing), chronic stress can have serious long-term health effects: including depression, anxiety, fatigue, muscle pain, hormone imbalances, weight gain and sleep disturbances.
In the earliest stages of chronic stress, known as the ‘wired and tired’ stage, there are elevations in the cortisol levels in the afternoon or evenings instead of in the morning. As these high levels continue, we essentially burn out our adrenal glands and start to feel long-term fatigue.
When our stress response is altered in the longer-term, we see an increase in inflammation. Inflammation can be both a driver and a symptom of a variety of different health problems.
It is really important that we learn how to manage our stress. Here are some top tips to support our health, particularly when stress is a driver.
For more information on mitigating the stress and immune response download the Expert Voice podcast featuring Naturopath Teneille Newton on your preferred listening app such as Apple Podcasts.
The Expert Voice podcast series is designed to help natural healthcare practitioners remain at the cutting edge of the ever- evolving nutritional therapies industry. The series covers topics across lifestyle and nutrition, stress and toxicity, healthy ageing, gut health, mental health, and more. It focuses on the role of nutritional supplementation in helping both healthcare professionals and their patients on the journey to achieving and maintaining good health.
 Stress Weakens the Immune System, American Psychological Association, February 23, 2006
 Definition of Eustress, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eustress
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What are the consequences of long-term stress?, Aug 1, 2019 https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/qa/what-are-the-consequences-of-longterm-stress
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