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How do we deal with stress when our lives are so busy? – House of Hormones part 3

By June 21, 2021August 2nd, 2021Hormone, Hormones, Stress

If you haven’t read the other parts to this blog series, click the link to find part 1 and part 2.

The first step is to take an inventory of all of the potential sources of “stress” in your life. 

Questions I’ll ask clients include some of the following:

  • Do you have chronic sinusitis which could be causing low grade chronic inflammation which stresses the body?
  • How are your relationships?
  • Do you eat junk food (blood sugar imbalances stress the body and cause release of stress hormones)?
  • Are you exposed to constant city noise, artificial light after dark or other environmental stressors that trigger the stress response?
  • What mood are you in most of the time?
  • What tasks in your daily life could you let go of in order to create more time and less stress for yourself? 
  • Do you enjoy your job?
  • What are you carrying around emotionally that you may need to let go of?
  • Have you recently experienced a traumatic event (we all have)? etc.

This area of inquiry is a fantastic opportunity to bring awareness to your daily life.

Address the STRESS

The next step is to address the stress response and support a body under stress. This will be highly personalised and may include treatments to balance the immune system, address chronic infections, clean up your environment, psychological and emotional integration work (such as mind body integration) and balancing the nervous system and what’s known as vagal tone.

My protocols for addressing stress often also include supportive nutrients, botanical medicine, injectable therapies, mindfulness practices, adequate sleep and physical activity, reducing light at night and background noise, a diet that balances your blood sugar and time in nature.

Nutrients that are invaluable in times of stress include some of the following:

  1. Active B complex vitamins
  2. Minerals especially magnesium
  3. Adaptogenic herbs and botanical extracts
  4. Adrenal glandular extracts
  5. Immune supportive and inflammation reducing nutrients such as
    1. Sulforaphane
    2. Resveratrol
    3. Curcumin
  6. Agents that support blood sugar
    1. Berberine
    2. ACV
    3. Cinnamon
    4. Chromium and zinc

In terms of nutrients, we only prescribe high quality evidence-based supplements made in pharmaceutical grade laboratories. The form, quality and dose of nutrients and botanical medicines makes a huge difference to how well they will work. For instance, I’ll often prescribe an activated/methylated B complex vitamin to address the nutrients we lose through our urine when we are under stress.  B complex vitamins found in supermarkets and pharmacies are often ⅓ of the price, but it’s because they are derived from coal tar and need to be metabolised to useable forms in the body. A body under stress or with certain genetic differences may not be able to make the conversion and though you spent ⅓ of the price; you derived very little value to your health. OTC supermarket etc brands are also often rife with fillers, binders and additives and often are supplied at laughably small dosages. I grew up with a family health food/supplement store business, so I quickly learnt the difference. 

In my next blog we will discuss the further impacts of inflammation and the stress connection on our mood and gut function and how this can further upset your hormone imbalances!

DR VANESSA INGRAHAM (ND, FAARM ABAAHP, NZNMA)

NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR | WELLBEING AND HORMONE SPECIALIST

Find out more about Vanessa here

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