Emotions and Stress

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

Difficulty managing anger ✔️ controlling temper ✔️ easily provoked ✔️
easily upset ✔️ compulsive and/or obsessive behaviours ✔️ 
constant worrying – especially that something bad is going to happen ✔️ 
sleep disturbances ✔️ insomnia ✔️ weight fluctuations ✔️ 
changes in eating patterns ✔️ unexplained physical problems such as headaches ✔️ chronic pain ✔️ back aches ✔️ diarrhoea ✔️ constipation ✔️ 
chronic fatigue ✔️ tiredness ✔️ lack of energy ✔️ lack of motivation ✔️ 
emotional overload ✔️ emotional distress ✔️ memory problems ✔️ 
decline in performance at school or work ✔️ anxious moments ✔️ 
changes in social behaviours ✔️ phobias or fears ✔️ mood swings ✔️ 
feeling tearful ✔️ finding it hard to cope with everyday life ✔️ 
using alcohol to cope with feelings ✔️ not wanting to do things you usually enjoy ✔️ and erratic behaviours ✔️

These are all signs and symptoms of difficulty in coping with emotional stress.

Emotional stress…

we are overloaded with stress to the point where it is becoming normalised. It has a huge impact on our emotions and most of the time it is just not connected to the signs on the physical body.

The most important point to remember about emotional stress is that it can affect ALL AGES!!!

Emotional stress can affect many systems of the body

Muscular skeletal system

- When stress is present the body will tense up, long term stress causes the muscles to stay in a constant state of tension to guard the body from pain and injury. This triggers reactions in the body such as headaches and migraines.

Respiratory system

- Stress can affect breathing and make it harder, for most this is ok however, if there is a lung condition such as asthma or emphysema then this can be a problem. Emotional stress can trigger an asthma attack.

- Stress can also lead to rapid breathing and therefore in situations of panic attacks lead to hyperventilation.

Cardiovascular system

- Stress can cause an increase in heart rate and stronger contractions of the heart muscle through the release of hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. It can also increase blood pressure due to the dilation of blood vessels to increase flow to the muscles for fight or flight reaction. When the stress becomes chronic is can lead to long term problems for the heart and blood vessels.

- The effect can differ for women of pre and post menopause. Adequate levels of oestrogen in pre-menopause can help in times of stress and help the cardiovascular system respond. Post menopause women lose this protection against heart disease.

Gastrointestinal system

- When there is stress there is a tendency to eat a lot more and usually all the wrong foods like excess carbohydrates. Also, usually an increase in alcohol consumption which is justified as relaxation time but is actually causing a lot more damage than realised.

- The stomach can react with nausea, pain, and butterflies. If the stress and panic gets too much it can even induce vomiting.

- Stress effects the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract, it can also effect the speed at which food moves through the digestive tract leading to either constipation or diarrhoea.

Reproductive system

- Stress causes the body to release cortisol the stress hormone and chronic stress can impact the production of testosterone as well as sperm production, sperm maturation, and can even be connected to impotence and dysfunction.

- Menstruation can become irregular or even absent, there can be an increase in pain and changes in length.

- The biggest impact is on PMS. Stress makes this extremely difficult and leads to bloating, cramping, fluid retention, and mood changes.

- There is also a connection with hot flashes, causing them to be more intense and frequent in numbers.

And last but not least…

Nervous system

- Stress causes a fight or flight response, the body shifts all of its energy to cope with this and takes energy away from all other areas, after an acute episode the body will return to its normal state. However, when this becomes chronic (long term) it results in the body being drained and causing increased wear and tear on the body.

The chronic stress doesn’t really effect the nervous system it is just the continual activation of the nervous system that is causing the problems in all of the other systems of the body.

As a Naturopath, it is my role to find the underlying cause of emotional stress and work on these areas. In herbal medicine, there are herbs exclusive to us that are specifically designed to help the body and the mind cope with stress and emotions.

I have seen amazing changes in just a few weeks where patients have been able to cope better when faced with stressful challenges. Thanks to the wonders of our amazing herbal and nutritional medicine. 

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house.

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath

 

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