Stress Related Disorders

 

You need a certain amount of stress in your life to keep you on your toes.

 

However, living with constant stress places great pressure on your mind and body, potentially leading to depression, fatigue, headache, indigestion, insomnia and anger.

 

You may attempt to cope with stress by making emotional outbursts, engaging in risk-taking behaviour, excessive eating, drinking, spending or taking recreational drugs.

 

I aim to enable you to manage your stress via:

 

  • a healthy whole-foods diet to nourish your body and mind
  • nutritional and herbal medicines to enhance your adrenal glands
  • exercise prescription for physical stress relief
  • lifestyle changes to give you more time to relax and unwind
  • meditation/mental relaxation exercises to take your mind off your stress

 

Anxiety

 

If your anxiety revolves around food, you may need to:

 

  • avoid alcohol and caffeine in your diet
  • avoid simple sugars that fluctuate blood sugar levels up and down wildly
  • eat a wide variety of whole foods, rather than processed foods
  • eat meals at regular intervals in a relaxed environment to aid digestion
  • eat oily fish 2 - 3days/week to enhance omega-3 oils for your brain or flaxseed oil (vegetarians)
  • be aware of food allergies that can promote anxiety and chronic fatigue!

 

Depression

 

While anxiety is symptomatic of your attempts to handle chronic stress, depression is symptomatic of your inability to do so, potentially leading to:

 

  • excessive or poor appetite
  • excessive or insufficient sleep
  • physical inactivity or excessive activity
  • loss of interest in life/decreased libido
  • mental and physical fatigue
  • poor self-esteem and suicidal thoughts

 

Dietary treatment of depression is similar to anxiety (see above)

 

Moderate exercise (walking, cycling, swimming) at least 3 days/week can have a strong anti-depressant effect, enhancing the release of endorphins in the brain, thereby promoting pleasure.

 

Hypertension

 

Stress-induced hypertension responds well to the following:

 

  • diaphragmatic breathing improves oxygen level and exercise tolerance
  • regular moderate exercise alleviates borderline - mild hypertension
  • increasing fruit and vegetable intake to increase your antioxidants
  • reducing calorie intake, particularly reducing saturated fat intake
  • reducing sugar and salt intake, which is found in processed foods
  • avoiding alcohol, caffeine and smoking, which all promote hypertension!

 

Note:

Mild (140-160/90-105 mmHg) or Moderate Hypertension (160-180/105-120 mmHg) responds well to natural therapies after 3 to 6 months of consistent treatment.

 

However, Severe Hypertension (180plus/120plus mmHg) requires urgent anti-hypertensive medication to reduce blood pressure in order to prevent a heart attack or stroke!