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Prevent Adrenal Exhaustion with Good Stress Management

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Have you ever had to work hard on a project to the point of exhaustion – that point where you just could not do any more without rest and proper food?  Sometimes you recover quickly and go about your business, sometimes it takes a longer time to recover.

This is an example of a physical response that can be seen and felt.  Inside our bodies cells, tissues, and organ systems work 24 hours a day to keep us alive and well.  When these systems become stressed and near exhaustion, we often don’t recognize the signs, believe we will get over it, or ignore them.

Stress comes in many forms.  Temperature changes can be stressful as the body tries to warm up or cool down.  Emotions can become stressful creating tension and raising blood pressure.  Worries over jobs, finances, family matters, and not having enough time to do all you want to do create stressful biological responses in the body.  Other stressors are pollutants and toxins, both from environmental sources or from pathogens entering the body, illness and infections, trauma, and surgical procedures to name a few.

Chronic stress causes a sustained release of adrenalin and other stress related hormones from the adrenal glands in response.  Over time the adrenals become exhausted trying to keep up and can eventually shut down.  This will create a further cascade of internal interactions all creating signals to alert us to stop what we are doing so that we can recover from the stress.  With prolonged stress and release of adrenalin, glucose, our energy fuel, is increased to meet the increased demand.  Insulin manages glucose in the body.  With too much glucose release in response to stress, insulin resistance to the overload may occur.  This can lead to diabetic conditions.

We may believe we are handling our stresses, but may be unaware of the damage occurring within our body’s internal systems.  Signs and symptoms generally appearing first are fatigue, malaise, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, perhaps skin rashes, mood swings, irritability, and depression.

Stress chemistry also creates free radical reactions that damage cells and tissues.  This damage calls upon the immune system to handle the inflammation created by free radicals.  The chronic release of adrenalin, however blunts the immune response.  So many systems in our bodies try to rise to meet the needs created by stress, but can become exhausted in chronic situations.

The solution is to manage stress.  Easy to say, not so easy to do.  Deep relaxation breathing from the diaphragm often calms the mind and the body.  Taking a walk in nature, meditation, yoga and exercise are important stress reducers.  Eating a healthy diet free of unnatural ingredients will support the body’s efforts to heal and relax.  Planning a little personal time each day to assess needs and regroup will go a long way in reducing the effects of stress on our internal tissues and organ systems.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT is a licensed massage therapist, owns Touchstone Integrated Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at 208/290-6760.

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By Krystle Shapiro

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