Reduce Stress: Stress Reduction II Stress
Reducer II Stress Exercise II
II Stress Cause II Environmental Stress II
Stress Hormone II
You had a stressful week at work, the baby is crying and you don’t
have enough to pay all the bills. Now, on top of that, you cannot
find your car keys. Your lapse in memory may have to do with the
incredible stress you are under. The stress hormone cortisol, a
chemical released by the human adrenal gland when it is under
stress, has now been shown to have a detrimental effect on memory.
In addition, this stress hormone may lead to illness and weight
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Louis discovered that memory is significantly negatively affected
by high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood stream
for several days. These levels are the same levels of stress
hormone that are released after a person experiences major stress.
In another study, published in the journal of Nature, the stress
hormone corticosterone when released into the body by stressful
situations, anxiety or injury to the physical body, prevents a
person from retrieving information in their memory banks or long
This “stress hormone” as cortisol is called, because levels of it
rise after exposure to a psychological or physical stressor, does
not only signify the level of stress a person is experiencing, but
it is a necessary hormone in order to sustain life. Nearly every
part of the body is affected by the stress hormone cortisol. When
there is too much or two little cortisol released by the adrenal
gland, certain diseases and symptoms may manifest themselves.
The stress hormone, cortisol, helps the body to regulate the
amounts of fats, carbohydrates and proteins in the body as well as
help control blood pressure. When the stress hormone is released
into the bloodstream, amino acids which act as the building blocks
of protein are released as well. When the stress hormone cortisol
levels are too high or too low, there may be a disturbance in
metabolism which may lead to illness.
The stress hormone, cortisol, has many different functions but the
main function is to insure that the body has enough energy to
live. This stress hormone stimulates the metabolism of fats and
proteins and also stimulates appetite by causing the release of
insulin into the blood and maintains blood sugar levels. The end
result of high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body
is weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
In addition to causing weight gain, the stress hormone, cortisol,
causes weight to be gained around the abdominal region. This
weight gain has been shown to be more dangerous than weight that
is gained on the hips and thighs because it may lead to heart
attacks and strokes. Because of this, the fat gained around the
middle is often called “toxic fat”.
The level of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the bloodstream
differs with each individual. Some people secrete more stress
hormone than others. Some people just react to stress by secreting
more cortisol than others. Studies have shown that the people that
tended to eat more when under stress were the ones secreting more
of the stress hormone, cortisol. Another study showed that those
who reported more stress in their lives and had high cortisol
levels tended to pack on the pound around the belly while those
that reported less stressful lives and had lower stress hormone
levels tended to gain weight in the hips. Some groups of people
tend to have higher levels of stress hormone than others. For
example, pregnant women in the last trimester of pregnancy,
athletes, those with depression, anxiety, malnutrition, panic
disorder and alcoholics tend to have higher levels of the stress
hormone than other groups of people.
Because of the role that stress plays in weight gain and in the
difficulty in loosing weight as well as the fact that the stress
hormone causes people to gain weight around the middle, people
should make stress relief a regular part of their weight loss of
weight maintenance routine. One of the best stress relievers and
promoters of weight loss, muscle gain and feelings of well being
is exercise. If the benefits derived from exercise could be put
into a bottle, it would be a best-seller. Exercise makes us feel
better because the body releases chemicals called endorphins which
not only relieve stress but also cause a reduction in cortisol
levels. Yoga is a great form of exercise to relive stress because
it both strengthens muscles and helps you concentrate on breathing
and relaxation. Simple meditation can also help relive stress. A
good time to exercise or practice meditation would be at the time
when the stress hormone, levels are the highest. The body tends to
secrete the most cortisol between the hours of six and eight a.m.
Also, if you are feeling tense and stressed out, instead of
reaching for a donut or cookie to make you feel better, try going
for a walk or popping in a yoga tape.
Nutritional supplements can also be very
beneficial for dealing with stress. We recommend using
a homeopathic and nutrition supplement that is exceptionally
effective in aiding the body during periods of stress, tension,
anxiety, minor phobic reactions and complaints of generalized
patterns of anxious discomfort.