April is Stress Awareness Month so myself and my colleagues at The Treatment Space have put together some information to help you manage your own stress levels:

Chronic stress can lead to serious health issues and affects most systems in the body. There are many emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including:

  • Depression & anxiety
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Constipation/ diarrhoea
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Sleep problems
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Headaches and migraines

How Nutritional Therapy can help

The food that we eat is fuel for our body and provides the nutrients we need to make the hormones which regulate energy production. During an episode of stress we produce the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol which help us respond by releasing energy so that we can take action. When stress becomes chronic the pattern of hormone production, particularly cortisol can be disrupted. This can lead to your energy fluctuating during the day for example finding it hard to wake up and ‘get going’, becoming fatigued mid- afternoon, or being wakeful at night when you really want to get to sleep! If stress continues for long periods the adrenal glands which produce the cortisol can become weakened, so that not enough cortisol is produced to maintain energy levels, leading to ongoing tiredness which can tip over into chronic fatigue.

Nutritional Therapy can help you manage stress and the stress hormones by helping you eat a diet which is rich in the nutrients which support your adrenal glands. Other aspects of dietary advice can help with managing the consequences of stress such as fluctuating energy levels, fatigue, low mood, poor sleep, high blood pressure etc.

Even when you are busy and feeling stressed do try to take time to eat regularly. Missing lunch will affect how you function in the afternoon so is counter-productive and will leave you even more stressed! Try to make the time to move away from your desk and computer screen and have a few minutes to enjoy your food and relax. Eating when stressed can lead to poor digestion so you don’t get the full benefit of the nutrients from your food

If you want some help with managing your stress related health concerns from a dietary perspective please do get in touch.

My physiotherapist , acupuncture and sports massage colleagues at The Treatment Space may also be able to offer additional help