Could stress be wreaking havoc with your body?
Are you are feeling depleted, run down, exhausted and bascially struggling to sleep?
Your body is designed to handle a great deal and us humans are primed to be resilient and to bounce back after adversity. Yet there is only so much your body can take before it starts to falter – or worse.
That is known as ‘adrenal dysregulation’ or ‘HPA axis dysfunction’.
The latter stands for hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction, the current term for what we used to referred to as ‘adrenal fatigue’.
How Do I know If My Body Is Under Stress?
Your body is VERY clever at telling you if there is something wrong…you just need to listen. When we are stressed our body can show us this in various ways. Maybe some of the below symptoms apply to you?
- Bone Loss
- Chronic Fatigue
- Craving Salty Foods
- Decreased Immunity
- Early onset menopause
- Low Blood Pressure
- Memory Loss
- Muscle Wasting
- Panic Attacks
- Poor Concentration
- Sleep Disturbances
- Weight Loss
- Weight around midsection
Why is this important?
While the HPA axis is activated, stress hormones are produced all the time. However, cell growth requires that the stress response is switched off. Constant cell growth is crucial because, inside our body, cells reach the end of their life all the time and must be replaced.
You have two separate protective systems to ensure your survival: the stress response and the immune system.
The stress response – your fight-or-flight mechanism – is designed to protect you against external dangers. It is governed by the HPA Axis. The HPA axisis is activated only when you’re under threat. When there is no danger, it is inactive.
The other protective system, the immune system, protects us by fighting outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. The stress hormones released by the HPA axis block the immune system.
Knowing this, it is easy to see how something that seems minor at first glance – stress – could be messing with your health in different ways and different areas of your body. If you’re feeling below par all the time, perhaps it is time to give your HPA some TLC.
You can see our “Top 6 Stress Busters” in our other blog HERE
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- Supporting your body through adrenal dysregulation
- Signs your body is under pressure
- How does the HPA axis work?
- Fight or flight?
- Identifying stressors
- Your recharge plan
Try our stress support recipes
Low iron is a known contributor to anxiety and depression. This plan contains great iron sources like beef, liver, and sausage. These iron sources are paired with foods that have vitamin C to enhance iron absorption.
Fibre is an important nutrient to reduce anxiety. It helps to balance blood sugar and feeds gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids which can decrease anxiety. Fibre can be found in this plan from whole grains, legumes, seeds, and cruciferous vegetables.
This program was created with four key nutrients in mind:
Research shows magnesium plays a role in migraines and depression. Emerging data suggests magnesium can help with chronic pain and anxiety. Many people do not reach their daily recommended intake of magnesium through diet, which is why this meal plan provides over 500 milligrams per day of magnesium from whole foods.
Vitamin B6 is effective when combined with magnesium in adults with severe stress. Women who consume more vitamin B6 are less likely to experience anxiety. A low B6 status may also increase panic attacks. Getting enough vitamin B6 through diet can support the body during stress and reduce anxiety. This plan incorporates vitamin B6 from many foods including chickpeas, poultry, bananas, and squash.