Distressed woman in pain

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Stress in the body is handled by the body’s main stress glands, the adrenal glands. The adrenals are small triangular shaped glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They respond to stress. When the brain sends stress  signals to the adrenals, whether perceived, imagined, or real, they work. Too chronic, too repetitive, too extreme is showing to be too much.

“Too high adrenaline or cortisol levels lead to immune system suppression and promote inflammation,” says Dr.’s Paul Anderson and Mark Stengler.

Nasha Winters, ND, FABNO  is one of the world’s leading integrative naturopathic specialists on cancer. In her book The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, Dr. Nasha says, “When we ask our patients if they had to guess what caused their cancer, most of them can point to an emotional or stressful event.”

Stress has such a negative impact on the body that Traditional Chinese Medicine has identified a link between emotional stress and cancer formation. They have connected breast cancer stemming from problematic relationships between mothers and daughters. They have linked ovarian cancer to sexual abuse or betrayal in a relationship. Additionally, they’ve linked lung cancer to tragic loss.

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The journal Science reported a study on rats exposed to stress treatments. The rats that didn’t experience stress could combat tumor preparations, rejecting tumors, while those who experienced stress could not. They said lack a of control over stress didn’t just reduce tumor rejection, but decreased survival rate. 

Acta Neurological reported a study where behavioral oncologists have found holding onto toxic emotions like anger or hate are shown to contribute to cancer formation. Other traits that also negatively impact health are being overly conscientious, being overly responsible, carrying other people’s burdens, having poor boundaries, being people-pleasers, having a low threshold for stress, approval-seekers, holding in hostility, having a difficult time expressing hostility, resentment, or hostility.

The body is constantly producing many chemicals that cause us to function well. Stress is like throwing a wrench into the wheel. In the body, tryptophan produces serotonin, our happy hormone. Serotonin assists in controlling appetite, emotions, and sleep. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin production, which aids the body in sleep. Having an imbalance in these functions can throw your world into a tailspin. Stress can alter them. Continued chronic stress can cause major issues which can take years to set right.

Our bodies make B vitamins and GABA, an amino acid neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. Both of these are grossly impacted by stress.

In her clinical practice, Dr. Nasha has found the use of B vitamins and GABA assist with, “their role in neurotransmitter production. Vitamin B6 is required for the production of dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. GABA promotes relaxation and reduced stress and anxiety. Widely touted as the ‘anxiety amino acid’, GABA is our body’s version of Valium.”

Chemico-Biological Interactions reports B vitamins, “help the body convert carbohydrates to glucose and metabolize fats and protein. They also help the body respond to stress and are involved in preventing cellular stress. All eight of them play essential roles in maintaining mitochondrial function, and mitochondria are compromised by a deficiency of any of them.”

There are ways we can reduce our stress.

These methods are not to be taken lightly. We can turn off the TV, go for a walk, spend time with our animals and loved ones, focus on whatever is good, whatever is lovely, whatever is pure, and laugh frequently.

Ashwagandha has been proven to balance our adrenal stress hormones.

The Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine reported a study on ashwagandha. They had one group take a placebo, while the other took 300 mg of ashwagandha twice each day. After 60  days, those on ashwagandha showed a significant reduction of perceived stress scores, by 44 percent. They showed a 59 to 89 percent improvement on their General Health Questionnaire. They specifically expressed improved sleep, greater productivity, and were more mentally at peace. Test samples showed a 27.9 percent reduction in cortisol levels at the end of the 60 days.

They said, “Cortisol levels were substantially reduced in the ashwagandha group, relative to the placebo group. No serious adverse events were reported. The findings of this study suggest that a high-concentration full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.”

This is a good choice for ashwagandha.

Seagulls over the oceanVitamin D

Science Daily reports, “Vitamin D regulates the conversion of the essential amino acid tryptophan into serotonin. We link serotonin production and function to vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, suggesting one way these important micronutrients help the brain function and affect the way we behave.” This cod liver oil is good, as well as these D drops.

Drop sugar intake

When stressed, people often turn to sugar. This decision could be the start of real downfall. Dr. Nasha says, “Sugar ingestion releases dopamine, which is why we literally get addicted to it: like cocaine, it elicits a feeling of bliss. But over time, just as our adrenal glands and cortisol, chronic dopamine activation eventually leads to fatigue and depression.”

Neuroscience reported a study done with rats which showed bingeing on sucrose, and drugs of abuse, showed the same reaction in the body.

Increase magnesium

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 different chemical processes that happen in the body, including relaxation, controlling anxiety, GABA production, melatonin production, body odor, muscle pains, restless leg syndrome, charlie horses, muscle twitches, and so on. Sugar consumption grossly depletes magnesium levels. Click here to read more. Good brands like these(this glycinate, this complex, this malate) are best.

Microbiome repair

Consuming foods that build the microbiome are the strongest support a person can do for their health. This has been known for centuries, as Hippocrates said all disease begins in the gut. Click here to learn more.

Fermented foods

Fermented foods are traditional for building your immune system for fighting off ailments and creating a healthy gut brain connection. This reduces anxiety and allows us to handle stress. Click here to read more.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, through The American Naturopathic Medical Association and works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.




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