Introduction – Stress & Anxiety

Introduction – Stress & Anxiety

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stress
We need to have a certain level of stress in our lives, as it inspires us to move ahead, to accomplish tasks and it motivates us to action. However, when there is more stress in our lives that we are able to cope with, the negative symptoms of stress may become apparent. Symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive changes
  • Neck or backache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overeating
  • Increased use of tobacco or alcohol
  • Tics or twitches.
  • Psychological symptoms may include tension or anxiety, anger, being reclusive, pessimism, lack of concentration, resentment, increased irritability, feelings of cynicism, performance problems.

If you allow the stress to continue, it can eventually cause numerous problems within our body such as:-

  • Ulcers
  • Fatigue
  • Skin diseases
  • Weakened immune system.

When we feel intense stress or fear, a hormone called adrenalin secretes from the adrenal glands above the kidneys. This hormone gets us ready to take action against the ‘enemy’. Our heart beats faster, our blood pressure rises, and our muscles will tense up. This is natural and we need this reaction to survive just as our ancestors did. However prolonged periods of stress are dangerous and can lead to severe health problems.
Different people have different levels of stress that they can cope with. The stress may not even be apparent to us.
Causes
W come under stress when life throws more things at us than we are able to cope with at a certain time,. It could be related to our occupation, family life, a loss of someone close, money problems, conflict or even positive events. Other causes are internal: illness, loneliness, pain, or emotional conflict. The different stresses in our life accumulate and we reach a point when we show the effects of not coping with it.
You should be able to identify the triggers of stress in your life so as to teach yourself to be prepared and to learn how to best handle it.
Anxiety
Anxiety is a state of being worried about certain real or imagined events or situations. Anxiety is a normal human response. Sudden intense stress or fear questions our survival instinct, causes a chemical and a physical response… Which is all to do with the way the body prepares to deal with danger.
Adrenalins and cortisone are released in the bloodstream; heart rate quickens; breathing becomes shallow and rapid; muscles tense; sugar is released by the liver; and the mind goes on full alert. But when anxiety is not tied to an identifiable threat or is more severe and long-lasting than warranted, it is a clinical disorder.

  • heart palpitations.
  • tics or twitches
  • recurring headaches or migraine
  • indigestion and bowel irregularity
  • sense of impending doom.
  • inability to concentrate.
  • muscle tension; muscle aches.
  • diarrhea.
  • chest pain.
  • dry mouth.
  • excessive sweating.
  • under eating or overeating.
  • insomnia.
  • irritability.
  • breathlessness; hyperventilation.
  • loss of sex drive.

Many different anxiety disorders are recognized. Among them are

  • Phobias – fear of certain situations, such as confining spaces, or of particular things, such as insects.
  • Panic attacks – a sudden onset of extreme fear or tension, for no evident reason;
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder – persistent, irrational thoughts, such as a dread of infection, or repetitive behavior, such as checking that doors are locked;
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder – prolonged anxiety after a traumatic event and
  • Generalized anxiety – an inexplicable feeling of apprehension that may last for months.

Anxiety disorders can vary greatly in their severity, they may be mild or completely debilitating. The disorders usually become noticeable during the teen years or early adulthood and are considerably more common among adults than children.
Some anxieties are very difficult to treat; others respond well to medications, psychotherapy, and alternative therapies.
What does not work is self-treatment with alcohol or recreational drugs to alleviate the symptoms. Many sufferers choose this path, but ultimately it will only make the condition worse.
CAUSES
Anxiety can be caused by a recognizable stress such as a bad accident, a death, or the loss of something important to us… In such cases, adjustments to the situation, along with the passage of time, will have a healing effect. In other cases, the stress is invisible a buried memory of some unhappy or frightening event in childhood, lurking below the surface of the conscious mind and revealing its presence in anxiety.
Hereditary factors may play a role in some individuals becoming prone to anxiety. Food sensitivities and allergies may also contribute to anxiety, although more research must be done to certify this connection. In addition, anxiety frequently follows a sudden withdrawal from alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
Another key theory is an insufficient amount of the calming neurotransmitter serotonin versus the excitatory norephinephrine.
Studies show that anxiety may be caused by an imbalance of lactic acid and pyruvic acid in the blood. The more lactic acid compared to pyruvic acid and the more lactic acid in general, the more anxiety occurs. Injections of lactic acid in normal people have no effect but in those prone to panic attacks, such an injection produces severe panic attacks.
Six nutritional factors favor this imbalance. They are:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Caffeine
  3. Sugar
  4. Deficiency of certain B vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine or thiamine.
  5. Deficiency of Calcium or Magnesium.
  6. Food Allergans

The first step is to ensure the symptoms are not the result of another disease or disorder. Check with your Medical Practitioner.

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