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Stress and Your Health
Q: I feel like aggravations at work are affecting me outside the office. How bad is stress and how can it affect my physique and health?
A: It’s estimated that up to 75 percent of visits to primary care physicians are related to stress in some way. Many people think of stress as only daily mental stress. In reality, stress is accumulated through various factors, including diet, sleep deprivation, excessive travelling, personal problems, environmental chemicals, and even excessive exercise. Stressful events trigger the adrenal glands to release excessive amounts of epinephrine and norepinephrine into the bloodstream. This induces a fight-or-flight response. Eventually, the body adapts to the stress, but as a side effect, the hormone cortisol is released into the bloodstream. This is why cortisol is termed “the stress hormone.” Over time, excessive stress and cortisol can have detrimental effects on your health and physique.
For those aiming to maintain a lean, muscular look, cortisol increases are definitely not ideal. In fact, higher cortisol levels force the body to use muscle for fuel and actually put the body into a catabolic state. Research also shows that excessive cortisol can promote fat deposits in the liver and lead to the formation of a fatty liver. Long periods of stress can be hard on the immune system and can reduce its ability to fight off viruses and illness. To add to this, the negative influence of stress on the ratio of intestinal flora can cause imbalances that contribute to sickness and disease. None of this is good news for anyone looking to improve his or her health or physique!
Thankfully, there are some good natural supplements that can help the body tolerate stress, decrease cortisol production, and stay in balance. One of the most effective stress-support ingredients is Rhodiola Rosea. Rhodiola can help improve cognitive function during times of stress and fatigue, even after just a single dose. It can also help prevent fatigue (burnout) syndrome and has an anti-fatigue effect during times of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.
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