Stress and inflammation
Do you often feel stressed out and overwhelmed?
Do you know what sort of supplements can help you to cope with stress and inflammation?
Hi, it’s Dr. Yu again.
Today I want to spend some time talking to you about stress,
inflammation, and what herbs can help you with this. The reality is that most
everybody deals with stress at some stage in their lifetime. Some of us have very
stressful jobs on top of dealing with family obligations and raising children, which
all takes a toll on our health.
The problem with stress is that it drains us physically and psychologically and has
harmful effects on the human body because it affects the immune system badly.
Stress leads to an excess of inflammatory chemicals causing harmful
inflammation and pain.
We may adopt bad eating habits or other harmful habits like drinking too much
alcohol, taking drugs or smoking as a way to cope with unbearable stress.
Unhealthy habits such as these, as well as, eating badly, can all cause problems
for your immune system.
The importance of diet and nutrition should not be underestimated, and this
impacts how all our organ systems function. Even though our nervous and
endocrine systems are designed to help us cope when stressful events happen, over the long haul too many stress hormones also pose a risk to our health.
Stress and inflammation
Recently, I had a patient ask me about why stress is so harmful and how this all
relates to inflammatory responses in the body. I told him the following:
Several stress hormones are released including the hormone cortisol1. Cortisol is
a hormone that has been found to be associated with some of the negative
consequences of chronic long-term stress, including increased inflammation.
In fact, I can tell you that too much cortisol is associated with exhaustion,
headaches, mood changes and even weight gain. As we become exhausted we
become vulnerable to illness and painful conditions. Stress negatively affects the
neurotransmitters in your brain. These are chemicals that control your moods.
Finding natural ways to help control your stress and help to lower levels of stress
hormones is therefore a very good idea.
Stress is, after all, associated with a decreased immune response which is likely
then to make you more susceptible to disease. This is why you need to find
supplements that contain substances that help the body to cope in stressful
conditions and to stop inflammatory conditions from occurring. This is what brings
me to a discussion of adaptogens and how these various healing plant extracts
can help you.
As I have mentioned before, adaptogens are herbs that help the body to resist the
physical impacts of stress, and have been used in Ayurvedic medicine since
ancient times. Stress can and often does result in too many inflammatory
chemicals being released which cause damage over time.
The next blog, I will be going over the top 10 Adaptogen that can help with the stress.
- Ranabir, S., & Reetu, K. (2011). Stress and hormones. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 15(1), 18.
- Bharti, V. K., Malik, J. K., & Gupta, R. C. (2016). Ashwagandha: multiple health benefits. In Nutraceuticals (pp. 717-733). Academic Press.
- Siwicka, D., Skopinska-Rozewska, E., & Bodera, P. (2011). Immunotropic and anti-tumor effects of plant adaptogens. III. Astragalus (Fabaceae). Centr Eur Journal Immunol, 36(2), 104-107.
- Rai, D., Bhatia, G., Sen, T., & Palit, G. (2003). Anti-stress effects of Ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng: a comparative study. Journal of pharmacological sciences, 93(4), 458-464.
- Stansbury, J., Saunders, P., & Winston, D. (2012). Supporting adrenal function with adaptogenic herbs. Journal of Restorative Medicine, 1(1), 76-82.
- Bhatia, N., Jaggi, A. S., Singh, N., Anand, P., & Dhawan, R. (2011). Adaptogenic potential of curcumin in experimental chronic stress and chronic unpredictable stress-induced memory deficits and alterations in functional homeostasis. Journal of natural medicines, 65(3-4), 532-543.
- Mirunalini, S., & Krishnaveni, M. (2010). Therapeutic potential of Phyllanthus emblica (amla): the ayurvedic wonder. Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology, 21(1), 93-105.