Stress and Inflammation

Stress and Inflammation

Stress and Inflammation

Stress has recently been linked to inflammation in this article on Science News about stress and inflammation. http://www.sciencenewsdigital.org/sciencenews/20120225?pg=11#pg11

When looked at biochemically it is obvious that stress is the number one health issue today because it leads to so many ailments. I’ll go into that in a minute. Don’t worry,it’s pretty simple.

Recent science has shown that inflammation leads to many modern ailments. Heart disease, diabetes, dementia including Alzheimer’s and cancer to name a few.

Biochemically speaking, diseases like these progress in a logical way. So, let’s look at stress as reported in the above article.

Most people know that junk food is bad for them, but many don’t know why. Since knowledge is power, I’m going to lay it out for you here. The simple answer is that it puts stress on the body. There are other stress factors of course, factors that most people know.

The body reacts the same way to toxic chemicals as it does to junk food. Strong emotions, mostly negative ones, create the same biochemical nightmare that being exposed to toxins in your food or environment do.

Other stress factors include: injury, lack of sleep, over exercising, not exercising, temperature and long term hunger (an hour or two is actually good for you, but that’s a different subject).

How stress leads to disease

When there is stress the adrenal glands produce powerful hormones. The purpose of these hormones is to get the body ready to fight or run away fast, the fight or flight instinct.

It’s the powerful hormones that cause inflammation. The swelling is there so if you bleed it will be minimal. Inflammation also fights off infection. Whatever the case the inflammation is there long term because most stress is long term.

In the case of emotional stress, if the emotions aren’t released then they become stuck in the body, and we all know how to stuff emotions. Dietary stress is very long term for the majority of people who have access to processed foods because it’s in our genes to crave fattening foods. That’s how ancient people survived winter, if you didn’t crave fattening foods you didn’t survive, and we’re descended from the survivors.

The human body is designed to eat fattening foods once a year for a few months at most. Type 2 diabetes sets in during that time so there is excess blood sugar that is converted in the liver to fat. Do that year round and you become permanently diabetic, overweight and develop heart disease. Cancer results too, but that pathway is more complex, a subject for another time.

If you want to avoid stress and inflammation, then you need to change your life. While that may not very practical for most people, there are things that you can probably change to eliminate a big chunk of your stress. And, you can mitigate the effects of some stress in a number of ways.

Eliminating dietary stress is number one. That includes all processed foods and sugars. (By the way, processed foods are any ground up grains and all sugars. Stevia is the only completely safe sweetener.) Grains are not the best thing to eat at all, so at least minimizing them is pretty important.

Another thing you can do is to exercise regularly. Walking is the best exercise because our bodies are designed to walk — ancient humans were nomads. An hour or so a day five days a week is a good goal to work up to. That’s the main part though there’s a lot more about exercise, but again, another subject.

Eliminating emotional stress is the hard one for most people. Meditation and yoga have been shown to reduce those stress hormones, and exercise helps to burn them off.

For the remaining stress you can take adrenal herbs and supplements. This is discussed in my book, Adrenal Fatigue, Get Your Life Back. It’s still only $7 for the download at the link, and is now available on Amazon in a physical form for 12.99. It’s on Kindle too if you like reading that way.

Whatever your circumstances, you can probably do something to eliminate even a little stress and inflammation. Your body will thank you by sticking around for a few more years.

Meet the Author

Hello and welcome to my blog! There are several reasons I decided to start writing a blog on natural self-healing. The main thing I want to do is to share information on health and healing so that people can take action to heal themselves using natural techniques. I have met so many people who couldn't afford natural health care. They may have had health insurance, but they didn't trust that model. Many people want to know how to be healthy naturally. They want to know what really works and what doesn't. They want to be health conscious and often fail because of poor information, lack of knowledge, bad science and other factors. This blog is intended to help demystify the body and its various functions and to help people understand what is really needed to obtain optimum health. One of the great things about knowledge of the body is that once you know and understand how it works it becomes easy to know what the right things to do for it. And, it is much easier to do the right things when the consequences of the wrong things are fully understood. To do this I will be drawing from the knowledge of many people that I have learned from. I will talk about biochemistry relating that to what is needed to obtain optimum health. There will be information about the physical structure of the body and how to keep that aligned and functioning well. A major part of yoga has to do with health, so information about yogic techniques will be included. Mental and emotional health are important for the health of the body/mind, so articles about these topics will be included. And, there will be an occasional article about me and what I am up to. Hopefully I can relate that back to some health issue as well. The title Self Adjusting Technique comes from my technique for self-adjusting the structural part of the body, that is adjusting the body's various vertebrae and joints. For this blog it will include the idea of how to adjust health issues for yourself and those you care about. With a little knowledge there is a lot people can do to help heal themselves and stay healthy. I want to explain complex information about the body in a way that is easy to understand and useful. The comments section will help in that goal as people can ask for clarification if there is something they don't understand. And maybe we can get some helpful input from people smarter than me that will benefit us all. I hope you find information that can help you with your health issues. Kalidasa

10 comments… add one
  • jill farris Mar 21, 2012, 11:07 am

    Great article and summary! Thanks so much. It was the best explanation of why junk foods are bad that I’ve ever read.

    Jill Farris

  • Kalidasa Mar 21, 2012, 12:18 pm

    @ jill farris Glad it is helpful.

  • emily Mar 21, 2012, 1:06 pm

    I have recently read the book Hypothyroidism Type 2 … then I went to a doctor that was willing to run the full-panel of Thyroid tests, not just TSH, and I have discovered I am Hypothyroid. In the last 8 yrs I have had 4 docs and 4 tests tell me I was – Fine. I battled low-grade depression, with my weight and energy levels. I recently read a book about Adrenal Fatigue (before the book about HypoT type2) … and I have moderate adrenal fatigue. … since the Adrenals and the Thyroid are so intertwined – I think it is important for any person with adrenal fatigue to search further and have their thyroid truly checked.
    Have you written about this (the thyroid/adrenal connection)?
    Also, HypoT plays a big role in inflammation, heart disease, etc., Too.
    I think it is important to address diet, adrenals, stress – but Also get on some Desiccated Thyroid if the person needs it.
    Also, we have NetFlix and there is this old documentary about “Stress” – the researcher had spent 30 yrs following some monkeys in Africa. Very interresting. Despite having the same diet – the monkeys who were bullied, and under a lot of stress from being picked on, suffered from metabolic syndrome and heart disease. The monkey’s were were the “top dogs”, the one’s higher up – doing the bullying – did not suffer from heart disease! They did a comparison on people working in corporations/rat-races.
    I have read the when the Adrenal’s are under stress – it stresses the Thyroid. And in turn can impede the bodies ability to convert T4 into T3. This makes a person – at least to some degree – Hypothyroid. Environmental toxins have put a huge burden on the Thyroid/endocrine system & changed DNA is being passed down generation to generation. My family has a huge number of people with Thyroidism & mental illness & heart disease!
    What are your thoughts??

  • jasonalonzo Mar 21, 2012, 2:51 pm

    Stress and inflammation can be related. The former induces hormonal secretions that can have positive and negative effects on the body. Stress can be relieved by massage and chiropractic medicine practiced by Tacoma chiropractors

  • Rachel from Birmingham, UK Mar 21, 2012, 4:45 pm

    Many thanks. So much of what you say makes sense. I am reducing grains in my diet and starting to exercise a little more (I am hopelessly unfit, and so is my dog, so we have to start gradually) but I feel much better after just this last week. Keep your newsletters coming; I look forward to them.

  • Kalidasa Mar 21, 2012, 8:46 pm

    @ Emily Yes, I have written on Thyroid and the adrenals — AF always brings the thyroid down, unless something really serious is going on.

    One of the main limiters in T4 to T3 conversion is selenium deficiency which most people have.

    There’s another recent study of some primate group where the alpha male has more cortisol from the stress of maintaining his position. Interesting how things work out.

    Family history is pretty important, but a good lifestyle can mitigate most negative genetics, at least to slow them down considerably.

  • Kalidasa Mar 21, 2012, 8:49 pm

    The positive effects of stress hormones are beneficial, and often necessary for the short term, it’s the long term release that is problematic. Anything that relieves pain will certainly relieve stress and the resulting hormones.

  • Kalidasa Mar 21, 2012, 8:51 pm

    @Rachel, It’s usually not ever hopeless! And, it doesn’t sound like it is in your case — you’re making some great changes for yourself already.

    Dogs are great for getting us going too. When I don’t feel like exercising I sometimes say that I have to take the dog out, meaning my body, because dogs need to be taken out even when we don’t want to, as does the body. Good luck, and keep it up!

    Here’s a motivational hint for you. Say to yourself that you’re starting to make positive changes in your life (or however you’d like to word it). The positive affirmations that simply aren’t true have been proven to have the opposite effect whereas a true statement like the above is shown to work.

  • laura Mckay in England Mar 22, 2012, 3:38 am

    Thank you for such a great article Kalidasa. Since I started reading what you’ve written about stress and AF I’ve noticed the effects that stress and diet has on my life and health. Even today my lower back (which has plagued me for twenty years but been better lately thanks to you) has been aching and I’ve noticed that my shoulders are hunched and tense because I’m stressed out at the moment.
    Also I’ve let my good eating habits slide. You have made me more body aware and now I feel that rather than be at the mercy of the doctors who just ineffectively treat symptoms rather than causes I am responsible for my own health. Still a long way to go but it’s nice to know that I have control.
    Cheers Mate!

  • Kalidasa Mar 23, 2012, 10:49 am

    Thanks, Laura. You know, I get inspired too. Comments like this one makes me want to write more articles like this one. Keep up the good work, you’re on the right path to greater health and longevity, may it conintue.

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