Learn to cope with stress at free talk in Edwards | VailDaily.com

Learn to cope with stress at free talk in Edwards

Deborah Wiancek
VAIL CO, Colorado

What happens to our body when we’re under stress? When you encounter something stressful, your brain signals the adrenal glands, which release hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrendaline. These stress hormones race through your bloodstream to different parts of your body, preparing you to fight or flee. Your breath quickens as your lungs take in extra oxygen. Glucose and fats are released from storage sites into your bloodstream. This supplies the energy your body needs to fend off the threat and your sight and hearing become sharper, to make you more alert. Your heart beats faster, sometimes up to five times as quickly as normal. As your heart starts pounding, your blood pressure rises. Certain blood vessels constrict, which helps direct blood flow to your brain and muscles and away from other organs. Your muscles tighten. This prepares you to spring into action. If you continue to experience stress without any coping mechanism, it can affect your over all health.

Do you often feel tired and stressed? One of the most common problems I hear from patients is that they feel fatigued, anxious and depressed. And they often have trouble sleeping, even though they are exhausted.

Most of them share a common underlying condition –adrenal burnout. It’s the result of racing through life with a constantly aroused sympathetic (“fight or flight”) nervous system. In the heightened nervous state of adrenal burnout, the body overproduces adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones. Eventually, this causes the adrenal glands, the front line in the stress reaction, to show wear and tear and become depleted. This frequently leads to an impairment in the thyroid gland, which can cause a further decline in energy level and mood and is one of the reasons why so many people have thyroid glands that don’t work well.

Stress is the underling factor for many acute and chronic diseases. Up to 75 percent of doctor visits are stress related, according to the American Institute of Stress. Stress over long periods can increase your risk for heart disease, increase blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, effect sleep, cause anxiety, lower immune system function, cause weight gain, diabetes and fatigue, as well as contribute to thyroid problems.

Learn more about transforming your stress when naturopathic physician Shana McQueen and acupuncturist Dustin Bergman lead a one-hour discussion on naturopathic and Chinese medicine approaches to stress on Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Riverwalk Natural Medicine Clinic. Discover how to alleviate, manage and transform your stress into inner calm and peace, and learn how stress contributes to hormonal imbalances and how you can restore them. For more information about the event call 970-926-7606.

Deborah Wiancek is a naturopathic physician who has been practicing the Vail Valley for 13 years. If you have any questions. call 970-926-7606 or e-mail Wiancek@healthref.com. Visit her blog at http://riverwalknaturalhealth.blogspot.com.

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