Stress has been called the “health epidemic of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization. Stress is a major medical and anti-aging issue and we can’t just shrug it off. There are multiple reasons contributing to high stress in our lives today as we all strive for work-life balance. We can’t always control the causes, but we can 100% control the affect it has on us.
The staff at RAPS can help you understand the impact of stress on your health, investigate various hormone-producing glands as well as look into other typical labs that can be affected by stress, causing unwanted side effects or slow overall decline in health.
Various systems within the body, including the brain, adrenals, metabolic and immune systems, protect us by responding to internal and external stressors. Our individual responses to stress are determined by both genetic factors as well as by behavioral and lifestyle choices. As we are burdened by chronic stress, accompanying changes in personal behaviors may ensue – smoking, eating too much, drinking, poor sleep quality and neglect physical activity or our friends. Chronic stress can also cause slow changes in morphology and chemistry contributing to effects on the brain as well as affect normal hormone production which in turn can accelerate aging. Because stress is a mind-body interaction, it affects both physiological and behavioral responses.
Many of my patients come in with complaints of weight gain, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and mood alterations. We will take a detailed history, look at various areas of lifestyle and look into a variety of lab markers that can identify stress hormone levels as well as other metabolic markers that may be contributing to your symptoms. Looking at the whole hormone picture alongside your lifestyle choices, we can formulate a plan to help reverse the impact of stress on your hormones to help alleviate symptoms.
Typically, it’s not just one easy fix when it comes to chronic stress. We have to tackle it from a variety of areas, individualized based on your lab results and areas of need. We may work with supplements aimed at fixing the imbalances so that it reduces the detrimental effects that can often be “behind the scenes” affecting your health. Sometime other hormone imbalances are identified and we may work with bio-identical hormones to help balance levels and alleviate symptoms. We will also help you assess behaviors and suggest changes in your lifestyle to help optimize your response to stress. These may include specific dietary changes or implementing an exercise routine or utilizing various stress reduction techniques.
Making slow, consistent changes in both stress management and the impact stress has on your mind-body will help reduce the incidence of disease and help improve your ability to reduce your own chronic stress burden. Here at RAPS, we have the providers in place to help you make the right changes/improvements in all of these areas so you can maintain your health!