Home » Chronic Stress May Be Why You Don’t Feel Well – D.R.E.S.S.

Chronic Stress May Be Why You Don’t Feel Well – D.R.E.S.S.

Chronic Stress May Be Why You Don't Feel Well | Inner Savvy Wellness

You are tired in the morning. It is hard to get out of bed…no matter how much sleep you get.  Usually the sleep you get isn’t much.

You have become a night owl.  Yes, you are tired in the afternoon, but you suddenly get that second burst of energy at what should be bedtime.

You have gained weight. At first you figured the couple of pounds each year was just part of aging. However, now it seems like no matter what you do, you can’t seem to shake any weight. The scale keeps going up, and you don’t like your pant size.

Your cravings are getting so regular that you aren’t sure you can even call them cravings…they are just a part of you.

You have blood sugar issues that have you grazing all day long.  When you go more than a couple of hours without food, you get hangry.

And sex…well you really don’t have the energy for it most days.

Face it. You just don’t feel well, and you wonder if this is what it is going to be like for the rest of your life.  It seems that it is just a matter of time before you have a chronic illness. After all doesn’t this comes with aging?

Aging is not the cause of these symptoms.

What is the cause? Do you care what the cause is? If you just want to go to a medical doctor and have her give you some pills to take to resolve the symptoms, you might as well stop reading now.  This article isn’t for you.

Chronic Stress

I really should be studying.  Later this afternoon I have a 2 hour midterm practical test with Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. Edited: I PASSED. I have been studying about Metabolic Chaos® and how are bodies are so beautifully interconnected.  I have been learning to order lab work in order to investigate the cause of symptoms and interpret levels of steroid hormones, sex hormones, melatonin and even investigate digestive issues, oxidative stress, and detoxification issues.

You are living under chronic stress.  Your days are filled with activities, responsibilities, surprises and goals that women of a hundred years ago would not have had in a week’s time.  Yet, you try to get it all done in a day.  Unless you are living in a bubble, stress of all kinds is flying at you at a rate that increases the more technology we seem to discover.

Your body manages stress in its HPA Axis.  The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are located in the brain. When you experience stress, they communicate to the adrenal glands, little cone-shaped organs sitting on top of your kidneys, to produce the hormone coritsol.  It doesn’t matter if the stress is mental, emotional, physical or chemical.  A stress is a stress, is a stress and more cortisol is produced.

Cortisol is your stress hormone. Your body produces more cortisol in order to help your body manage stress.  It raises your blood sugar.  It gives you energy.  It is anti-inflammatory and a pain-killer.  You can feel pretty good when cortisol is coursing through your body. However this is meant to happen only occasionally when you are under acute stress. Then when the stress is over, your body reduces the amount of cortisol, and you go back to homeostasis.

However when you are under chronic stress your body tires.  Anything can start to happen in any part of the HPA Axis. Adrenal dysfunction occurs.  When this happens, because your body is so inter-connected, symptoms of chronic stress overload can show up in one or more areas of your body….your thyroid function, fat and protein metabolism, detoxification systems, neural tissue health, muscular-skeletal health, and more.

If you focus on resolving the symptom, nothing is fixed in the area that caused the problem to begin with. You might lose a little weight be reducing calories or exercising longer or harder, but typically the weight will return because the cause of the chaos has not been resolved.

Finding out through lab work what areas are not in homeostasis, what hormones are low, or what areas are out of whack can give clues as to further investigation into your body imbalance. It gives clues for intelligent support, stimulation and substitution of what might be missing.  Through a complete D.R.E.S.S Health for Success Program® that FDN has developed, you can give your body what it may need to allow it to move back to homeostasis and allow symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, cravings, sleeplessness and more to improve.

Your body is wonderfully made.  You are meant to be in balance. You are meant to feel well.

I look forward to blogging more about what I am learning about chronic stress and how it affects your body.  I am so excited to take and hopefully pass my midterm practical.  Soon I will be ready to work with two people for my test clients who are interested in helping their bodies restore optimal function through lab work to find hidden stressors in hormones, immune system, digestive and detoxification systems, energy production and nervous system, and then do the work through the D.R.E.S.S Health for Success Program® to help their bodies. I am half way done with the program.  I will continue learning more out about the body and its systems, especially the gut and thyroid functions while I work with 2 people who are willing to pay for the labs but get my services free.

There are no guarantees to health, but we can have reasonable expectations of moving toward optimal health when we uncover the underlying causes of dysfunction and support our bodies to move toward homeostasis. This is exciting stuff.

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40 comments

    • innersavvy says:

      Yes slow down and find ways to let your body and mind de-stress. We are not meant to have high levels of cortisol on a regular basis, our bodies will become exhausted. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Debra says:

    Kudos to you for pointing out how the mind/body are interconnected. As more people begin to trust this message, we will rely on food & lifestyle choices rather than prescriptions to alter how we feel. Well done!

    • innersavvy says:

      Pharmaceuticals do save lives, but we rely on them for relieving symptoms instead of getting to the root of the problem. I really do hope this view will change and we will start taking charge of our own health. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Monica Bruno says:

    Great post, Karen! I’m so glad you’ll be sharing your findings, it’s so interesting. And congratulations for passing your mid-term!

    • innersavvy says:

      Thanks, Monica for the well wishes. It was stressful, but so exciting to learn all I am learning. Thanks for sharing my post.

    • innersavvy says:

      Yep, I like to use a ferocious dog (since I have one in my neighborhood). It does help to get you on your toes when needed for something critical at work, but it is just too much for too long for chronic stress. We have to learn to relax our bodies, minds and spirits. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Teresa Salhi says:

    Interesting read and something I have been somewhat exploring – just for personal wellness. I’ve been wondering about those lab tests as well. Thank you for sharing and look forward to learning more.

    • innersavvy says:

      It is so frustrating when your regular doctor only wants to run a standard test or a one time blood serum test for cortisol. Our cortisol needs to follow a certain pattern and when it doesn’t it gives us clues as to other healing opportunities. One time test of cortisol can’t do that. Keep searching and learning.

    • innersavvy says:

      Yes, unfortunately many do. You must do a great job of keep stress at bay or your perception of stress is so positive it doesn’t effect your body in a negative way. Keep it up.

  4. Great post! Thanks for this information. I know that stress affects me more as I get older and I have to manage it better to stay healthy. I prefer to walk to help reduce stress. But, I do know that just sitting and breathing deeply helps. Thanks for sharing.

    • innersavvy says:

      Walking is an excellent stress reducer. I take my puppy on at least one mile walk twice a day. It is more for me than him. Consider doing some deep breathing exercises. Not only can it help manage stress, it can bring in more oxygen to your body which is also a positive thing.

  5. Beth Niebuhr says:

    We shouldn’t have to live with constant stress, as you said. Yet we do. I haven’t yet resorted to adult coloring books to relieve stress although I hear it works much like meditation. Walking, reading and listening to music work for me.

    • innersavvy says:

      Hi Beth, I am not a colorer but I know several people who love to color. I say go get a coloring book and try it. If you loved to color as a child it would be a fantastic stress reliever.

  6. This is great, thanks for the information! I have been trying to reduce stress, but it’s hard with 2 little boys 3 and under. My adrenal glands were barely producing cortisol by the time I got them checked at 28, so I’ve been on the long road of trying to bring them back again. Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

    • innersavvy says:

      Stefani, Yes it is hard to reduce stress when you have little ones, actually at any time of your life. It is a crazy busy world. Try some deep breathing throughout the day. You can do it at any time and it can really help your body relax. My adrenals are definitely in the Exhaustive Stage. But there are things you can do. I know it is slow going, but keep working on it. The healthy and more energetic you are, the more you have to give to your little boys.

  7. Deb Nelson says:

    First of all – congrats on passing the exam!! And thanks for sharing this info. I learned firsthand about how exhausted stress can make us. I made some major lifestyle changes and the world is a much better place. Fast forward, I’m studying to become an integrative nutrition health coach. So gratifying.

  8. Trish says:

    Congratulations for passing your test with Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Karen!

    I never knew that cortisol was produced by our body… very interesting… and, I’m looking forward to reading MORE of your posts about chronic stress and how it affects our body. Over the past 10 years I have had to learn to eat healthier and I’ve had most stress removed from my life, but I’m game to learn of more ways to stay and be healthier.

    • innersavvy says:

      Congrats on living a stress free life. Keep letting your body rest, it makes such a difference in your health. If there is anything in particular you want to know about cortisol and stress reduction, let me know…I might be able to write a post on it.

  9. Debbie says:

    You took a really complicated subject and made it completely accessible. I have such a hard time introducing mindfulness and stress reduction to weight loss clients who are…over stressed. The messages women get to exercise more and eat less contributes to their stress levels and encourages them to ignore what their body is trying to tell them. Congrats on passing FDN..looking forward to learning more from you!

    • innersavvy says:

      Thank you. I have to break it down for me to make sure I completely understand it. 🙂 Keep at it. You have a message to give; it will land where and when it needs to. Thanks.

  10. What I love about my bio-identical hormone doctor is his complete understanding of the inter-relatedness of ALL the hormones. So many doctors look at the adrenals and the thyroid and aren’t seeing how the two influence and interact with each other. The major and minor hormones all play equally key roles and aren’t always acknowledged as such. All the symptoms you mention at the very beginning of the post are very related to a sluggish thyroid. And most doctors don’t take it too seriously unless it is above the “normal” range. Unfortunately normal is considered to be between 1.5 and 5 here in Canada, however, if you are in the high end of normal, you will experience many of the symptoms. Thanks for sharing your learnings Karen and how stress is playing havoc with so many people, regardless of their age.

  11. innersavvy says:

    Unfortunately much of traditional medicine is so specialized, they only look at symptoms and one part of the body, but our bodies are interconnected and effect each other. We need to look at our bodies as a whole and help our entire body heal.

  12. Joyce Hansen says:

    Karen, thank you for sharing such a timely message. Most of us live in a world of chronic stress and have become so accustomed to it that we consider it normal. Making meditation part of our daily life can do much to quiet cortisol, and getting more quality sleep helps the body to rejuvenate. There are many other stress reducing techniques. The best thing is to pick one and have a plan in place when you become aware that life is getting stressful.

    • innersavvy says:

      Mayleen, I sure hope you make it a priority to get enough sleep. It really is critical to your overall wellbeing. What can you do to reduce your stress?

  13. Marissa says:

    This was very interesting – I actually have a great doctor who works with my hormonal levels and stress indicators regularly, and I can tell the difference quickly when I’ve over done it.

    Thanks for sharing with the #cozyReadingSpot

    • innersavvy says:

      Hangry is such a strong feeling. I hated feeling that way. I am so glad I have been able to get my health under control so I don’t experience it any more. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Kaye says:

    It’s scary knowing how much the mind can affect the body and cause physical symptoms. It’s one thing my family and I have realised over the years. Stress can cause some serious problems! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo

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