The Fruitful Life

Beating Burnout | Stress Support Part 1

Beating Burnout | Stress Support Part 1
We've got another great article to share from regular guest writer Dr. Kalli Prater, Chiropractic Physician, and Functional Medicine Specialist. This will be Part 1 of "Beating Burn Out", so be on the lookout for Part 2 soon!
Stress. Almost every person I know has dealt with some serious stress in their lives. Some people are managing stress well and others don’t know where to begin. Stress affects everyone and we’re not talking about it regularly enough.
Chronic, unmanaged stress can lead to nutritional imbalances and can mimic the symptoms of Thyroid disorders, malnutrition, chronic fatigue, and even heavy metal toxicity. Because our bodies cannot tell the difference between physical stress (an injury or accident) and emotional stress, the response to both is the same. This kicks on the inflammatory response. That’s right. Chronic, unmanaged stress can contribute to chronic inflammation, which can affect almost any system in the body.


Chronic Stress, Cortisol, and Your Adrenal Glands

When your body is under chronic stress, what we really mean is that your body is in “Fight or Flight” mode. Our physiology is designed to get us out of acute, stressful situations for survival purposes, yet many people are stuck in this mode. When we activate our sympathetic nervous system (or fight or flight), our body’s natural response is to stimulate the production and release of cortisol.
We need cortisol, it wakes us up in the morning and is used for acute stressful situations. But like most things, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Excess cortisol in our bodies is related to slower metabolism, mood imbalances, blood pressure deregulation, sleep disturbances, focus issues, digestive disorders, and impaired immune function. Supporting your adrenal glands becomes very important in stressful situations to help your body get back to balance.

Dietary considerations include limiting foods that cause more stimulation of the adrenal glands, like sugar and caffeine. Cutting back on processed/packaged foods, and opting for lots of fruits, veggies and lean meats support your body’s ability to repair. Healthy fats are important to help your body manage the inflammation stress contributes to. Mineral or sea salts help provide essential minerals to the adrenal glands. There is a multitude of nutrients necessary for healthy adrenal gland function, so starting with basic supplements is a good way to support them.
Supplements as simple as a multivitamin, B-complex, Magnesium and vitamin C can support healthy adrenal gland function. Meanwhile, ensure you’re getting enough omega 3’s to help the body balance inflammation caused by stress. If that isn’t enough, people typically turn to adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress while supporting balance in the body. Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Rieshi mushrooms and Maca root are all herbs that can be helpful in supporting stressful times.
We hope that this article helps inspire people to support their bodies during times of stress. For more on Stress Support, stay tuned for the second part of Beating Burn Out, or attend Dr. Kalli's in-store lectures happening now through the end of June!*

*To protect our communities, all in-store events have been canceled through the end of April. We hope to resume our weekly educational events with Dr. Kalli as soon as it's safe to do so. 

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