Are you Feeling The Effects of Chronic Stress?

September is back to work and school!

September is back to work and school!

As September comes along, so can feelings of stress, anxiety, and fatigue. When treating stress in practice, I hear from many patients that they feel “tired” but also “wired” or that they feel “burnt out”. This can also be seen as as concerns of low energy, poor sleep but also feeling like running on empty in an anxious state. When this goes on long term, depression and intense fatigue can occur. A lot of times, this is indicative of the adrenal glands and different organ systems involved in the stress response (cortisol release) being out of balance. This system is called  hypothalamic pituitary axis (HPA) dysfunction, or is also known as “adrenal fatigue”.

Chronically, this can also present as other issues that one may think to be unrelated such as:

  • Mental health concerns: depression, OCD, alcoholism, PTSD, insomnia
  • Metabolic/endocrine disorders: diabetes, obesity, hyper/hypothyroidism
  • Pain syndromes: fibromyalgia, PMS, rheumatoid arthritis
  • Immune dysregulation: allergies, asthma, eczema

Common factors involved in AF development are:

  • Ongoing chronic stress – It is important to understand that a lot of events are dependent upon how they are perceived, or “perceived stress”
  • Inflammation – This can come from any origin. Some examples are stress, gut issues (food sensitivities, leaky gut), inflammatory diet (high in sugar and processed foods), obesity
  • Sleep disruption – poor sleep hygiene (use of electronics right before bed, using the bedroom for things other than sleep and sex), not receiving good quality sleep, caffeine abuse (especially after 3pm)

How can we treat this:

  • Stress reduction and building resilience
  • Reduce inflammation (heal the digestive system, reduce intake of processed high sugar/high fat foods)
  • Instill proper sleep habits
  • Use of other naturopathic therapies that nourish the HPA axis and adrenal glands (ex. nutrition, supplements, herbal medicine, acupuncture)
  • Test blood levels of cortisol (stress hormone), and naturopathic questionnaires (ex. Stress Identi-T Assessment)
    •  The Stress Identi-T Assessment is a helpful tool to determine whether you are in the “tired and wired” or “burn out” phase of adrenal fatigue or HPA axis dysfunction

Does this sound a lot like you? Come in the clinic for your Stress Assessment by clicking here. Many insurance plans cover naturopathic medicine, check in with yours!

Resources: https://chriskresser.com/myth-of-adrenal-fatigue/

To Your Best Health, 

Kaitlyn

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