I am so Stressed, I am Sick!


stressed and worried

stressed and worried (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know stress is bad for us but how does it really work and why can it make us sick. Stress from our environment causes us to release a hormone called glucocorticoids that causes epigenetic changes in our body. When we think of caveman days, we see why this was important. It caused us to prepare for either a fight or flight situation. Our mood changed, our adrenalin increased and our bodies were preparing for a stressful event. In those days the event ended and if we survived it the stressful environment was gone. Our bodies lowered the stress hormone and everything returned to normal again. Today we get stress from work, relationships, our kids, etc. We can’t fight or run from it so the stressful environment stays around for years. This causes the stress hormone to keep being released. This can lead to mood disorders and illness. It is like brakes on your car. They are meant to stop you in an emergency. If you ride your brakes and use them too often, they can fail you when you need them most causing a disaster.

The Healing Code


Cover of "The Healing Code"

Cover of The Healing Code

A book from 2010 called “The Healing Code” by Alexander Loyd, PhD, ND talks about the powerful negative affects stress has on us. He talks about deep stress that bothers us everyday. The kind that never ends. It causes normal body functions to slow down and gives priority to the stress. When stress meant Fight or Flight it was about preparing our body for a fight or the ability to flee. You wanted all your bodies attention on this to survive. In the Navy when an alarm goes off all normal functions are reduced and all energy is directed to the alarm. Men sleeping are put to work on the situation until it is under control. Today we find ourselves in stressful situations over money, job, loved ones we don’t speak to, etc. Our bodies don’t know the difference and are trying to prepare us for fight or flight. unfortunately one of the systems that gets slowed down is our immune system. If the stress never ends the immune system never gets back to normal strength and we suffer with diseases.

I speak about three main areas of life that affect our health as diet, thinking and belief. Stress fits into the thinking part of the equation. We begin to think bad. We are stressed out, negative and it affects all our body functions. Try yoga or seek professional help if you suspect your are stressed. Stopping the stress will return you to normal functionality. Allowing the stress to continue will most likely make you sick.

He also says in the book that memory of stress is not in our mind but in each cell of our bodies. This is very interesting since epigenetics is a memory system that exists in each cell. Might this not be another ramification of epigenetics?