Tag Archives: stress

stress

S-T-R-E-S-S

I am 39 yrs old and female. For about a week I have been having pain in my stomach directly below my sternum and sometimes I have pain in my chest. It feels like it would be an ulcer, even though Ive never had one before, but it doesnt really seem to help if I take any OTC meds for it. Milk helps slightly, but not for long. When it gets really going it doesnt seem to help if I eat or not. My 13 yr old daughter then came to me with the same symptoms last night. The only thing I can think of is we both have bad case of stomach flu couple weeks ago.. could that have caused injury to our stomachs? I HATE it! Help

Some ideas on dealing with stress:

1) If you can’t reduce the stress you are now under in the short term, you must start the ball rolling to reduce the stress long term. It will eventually kill you.

2) Recognize all events in life can be categorized into 2 categories: a. things you can’t control b. things you can control. On the things you can control, you have to decide which ones are worth the battle, and let the others go. Sometimes you need a confidant to help with these tough decisions.

3) Release the stressors you can release.

4) Learn stress-reduction techniques–prayer, meditation, massage therapy, Jin Shin Jyutsu, biofeedback.

5) If the stress has been going on for a long time, and adrenal and other hormone exhaustion may have taken place, you may need to see an Integrative Medicine Practitioner to do lab work and prescribe natural products to support you.

stress

Stress and Hives

What can I use to cure severe hives that can last up to 3 mos, and are related to stress and not allergies to products or dust, etc.?

Stress is such a powerful trigger of disease, it is difficult to override it with any supplement or herb.  All of those things will help the body so the stress is not so damaging, or reduce the symptoms, but ultimately stress must be dealt with to resolve symptoms.

Some ideas on dealing with stress:

1) If you can’t reduce the stress you are now under in the short term, you must start the ball rolling to reduce the stress long term.  It will eventually kill you.

2) Recognize all events in life can be categorized into 2 categories: a. things you can’t control  b. things you can control.  On the things you can control, you have to decide which ones are worth the battle, and let the others go.  Sometimes you need a confidant to help with these tough decisions.

3) Release the stressors you can release.

4) Learn stress-reduction techniques–prayer, meditation, massage therapy, Jin Shin Jyutsu, biofeedback.

5) If the stress has been going on for a long time, and adrenal and other hormone exhaustion may have taken place, you may need to see an Integrative Medicine Practitioner to do lab work and prescribe natural products to support you.

hair loss

Hair Loss

I had major surgery 6 months ago, and 2 months after I recovered, we moved out of the country. The adjustment has been a little stressful. Shortly after surgery my hair started falling out and I continue to lose hair every day. Is there something I could take to help my hair to grow back in? Thank you.

There are 3 treatable causes of hair falling out:

1. low thyroid

2. low nutrients, especially biotin and zinc

3. stress.

Outside of those 3 conditions are some identifiable and some non-identifiable conditions–male balding being one of them.  My recommendation for you is to get your thyroid levels checked.  If the T3 is below the mid reference range, I consider it low thyroid, although conventional medicine does not consider it low until it is below the low range.

Take extra biotin and zinc for up to 3 months. (Because zinc competes with copper for the transporter, long term use of either one will cause a deficiency of the other one.)  Learn some relaxation, de-stressing techniques and practice them.  Also, be aware the average person loses between 60 to 100 hairs each day.  So if that is the amount of loss you are experiencing, it is not a matter of concern.

shingles

Shingles

Can you comment on shingles (causes and cures) and do you recommend the vaccine, especially if one has previously had shingles?

Shingles is the reemergence or the chicken pox virus, that has lain dormant on nerve cells for decades.  When the immune system gets stressed, it doesn’t keep the virus under control, and shingles emerges.    The stresses can be emotional, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, trauma.

For treatment I use a frequency generator which neutralizes the pain and gets rid of the viral exacerbation.  I also have a few other “tricks up my sleeve” that are extremely effective.  I do not recommend the vaccine for anyone.

anxiety

Calming Herbs

a woman wrote about her young daughter who she gave a certain supplement to and it calmed her down. she took her off of it and the problems came back. what is the supplement she gave her? I thought it was a recent entry but I can’t find it. she even took her to the doctor who told her to give this to the child.

Let’s talk about products that can ‘calm down.’

Since a lot of anxiety or irritability may be related to serotonin deficiency, serotonin precursors like 5:HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) or tryptophan will help. I prefer to get a urine test that documents deficiency prior to starting treatment,  and follow-up lab so you know when to stop or reduce dosage.

There are many calming herbs that have helped many people:

  • valerian root,
  • hops,
  • passion flower,
  • chamomile.
  • I recently found Kavinace helpful for many of my patients.
ADD ADHD brain health stress

Adult ADD

Adult ADD – Can’t get anything accomplished even though I am not working now! I am a 53 yr. old female. Please help!

All neurologic challenges, including ADD, have certain core elements that must be attended to in order to support the neurologic system.  These include the B vitamins (almost all of them) and the omega-3 and omega-6 oils.  Take a B complex-50 or -100, along with flax seed oil 1 to 3 teaspoons and borage oil 5 gm per day.

Your diet needs to be good–real natural whole food, and no sugar and processed food.  If that is insufficient, you need to see a practitioner like myself that can look at toxic metals in the brain, and use other supplements and look at neurotransmitters in the brain that cannot be done on your own.

Additionally, stress can play a big part in causing symptoms that are akin to ADD.  This can be temporary or ongoing.  Either way, it is wise to see a professional practitioner who can help you with perspective on the causes of your symptoms and a way towards more dynamic health.

Allergy stress

Santa, Sleigh Bells, and …Stress

As a gift to you, I am presenting a mini-seminar (one hour) in Riverton, Utah,  on reducing your stress and increasing your health this evening (Thursday, December 9).  It is called : Enjoying the Holiday, Free from Stress.  The address is 2332 W. 12600 S., Suite 2B, Riverton, Utah, 8406.5 There is no cost, but you need to call and reserve a spot (I have limited seating).  Please call my office, Keys to Healing Medical Center, at 801-302-5397 to let us know you are coming.

Holiday season brings with it a plethora of fun memories, loving gifts–bought or homemade, Christmas music, store specials, inspiring concerts, mouthwatering cookies and candies…and stress.  Learning how to recognize stress and de-stress our lives will benefit us healthwise and ensure a much more pleasant, relaxed Christmas.

Life is full of surprises, some planned and hoped for, and some that knock us off our feet.  How we deal with life has much to do with our general health, and specifically our cardiovascular system.

We are all familiar with stress.  Some of it is good-exhilarating, “I work better under pressure”.  Our body’s initial response to stress will help us do better, especially if we meet the saber-tooth tiger (think of who that could be in your life) in the jungle (“it’s a jungle out there”).  The immediate adrenalin and sympathetic nervous system activation gets the muscles working better, sharpens mental abilities and drive and the heart pumps harder and blood pressure goes up to keep up with the increased demands of the body.  Non-vital systems of the body slow down or shut down during this time, permitting all the resources of the body to get through the challenging experience.  What a wonderful body we have!

This scenario works great when a critical deadline comes up tomorrow, or you are playing in a ball game, or an injury or accident occurs.  In fact, it could be life saving.

However, we now live in a world where the stresses may not be of short duration.  Financial, emotional or toxic exposures may persist, and not permit the body to get its much needed rest or peace.  Nutrient deficiencies or sleep deprivation or toxin build-up that interfere with basic body processes, if not corrected, will cause chronic stress in our bodies.  Infections the body cannot clear, or hormone dysregulation in the body, will interfere with proper functioning and be a stressor on the body. The list is almost endless.

We are wise when we learn to recognize that there are both stressors over which we have control, and those over which we have no control.

In and Out of Control

So, what does the body do with chronic stresses, and specifically, how does it impact my heart and blood vessels?  There are two systems that are activated in stress.  One is the sympathetic nervous system-nerves coming from the spinal cord that go directly to organs of the body.  This system is counteracted by the parasympathetic nervous system, which, for the most part, does the opposite.  It is the parasympathetic system that functions during rest, and does much of the repair needed from the sympathetic discharge.  The other system is release of epinephrine (adrenalin) and norepinephrine from the adrenal gland.  Let’s talk about each part and its direct impact on the cardiovascular system.

In the state of emergency, accident or injury, or escaping or fighting a perilous situation, bleeding may take place.  Adrenaline from the adrenal gland increases the ability of platelets to aggregate, or come together to assist in the clot formation to stop the bleeding.  If there is long term adrenaline release, there is an increased likelihood of clots forming inside the blood vessel walls.  These clots partially block the flow of blood inside the blood vessels.  If this occurs in the heart, or coronary arteries, this may manifest as angina (chest pain) with exercise, or even a heart attack.  If this occurs in the peripheral limbs, pain (claudication) is felt in the muscle that needs more blood for energy production, but can’t get it.

Stress and the Heart

Upon stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, the nerves that go to the heart activate processes that increase the blood pressure and heart rate, thus supplying more blood to the tissue.  The muscle is a high-demand organ for energy, so this demand can be better met.  However, higher blood pressure and heart rate long term may cause more turbulence inside the blood vessels.  This turbulence will cause more vessel wall tension and possibly damage the wall.  This prompts a repair process to be started which releases inflammatory substances from the local wall and platelet aggregation with more inflammatory substances released.  The wall of the blood vessel thickens and a clot may form inside the vessel lumen.  This is called atherosclerosis.

In the stressed state, aldosterone is produced and released from the adrenal gland which tells the kidney to retain salt (sodium) and water, in case bleeding has taken place. In the absence of bleeding, this increases total fluid volume in the blood stream, thus contributing to higher blood pressure.

Stress and Weight Gain

Stressed individuals have a tendency to eat more, thus putting on more weight.  More weight means more blood vessels need to be made, which lengthens the distance of the vessels, thus requiring more blood pressure to reach the new distance.  Stressed people tend to exercise less, also contributing to weight gain.  Smoking is more common among people who are stressed.  The toxins in cigarettes are some of the most inflammatory substances the body can receive.  The greater the inflammation that is inside the blood vessels, the greater the chance of atherosclerotic plaque building up and occluding the blood vessel lumen.

Many other organs of the body are also affected to increase survival in the stressed state.  The pupils dilate to see clearer.  The spleen releases stored red blood cells in case bleeding has taken place.  Airways to the lungs dilate.  Liver breaks down the storage form of glucose and fat cells breakdown, all to supply the body with immediate energy in the form of glucose.

There are other organ systems that reduce their function: these are the non-critical body functions of the body.  These include: bladder relaxation and sphincter contraction increased, digestive juices and enzymes diminished, kidney flow and urine production diminished, gall bladder relaxation, salivary and eye tears decreased, skin hair stands up and increased sweating.

The body is able to maintain a heightened state of stress for months, or even years.  It is not healthy, but a maintenance level is maintained.  At some point in time,  though, after the adrenal gland has enlarged as much as it can, it starts to fail.  Hormone levels drop, life-sustaining support wanes, and the body goes into a state of exhaustion.  Low levels of cortisol and DHEA are seen, the immune system becomes compromised, and stomach or intestinal bleeding may result.  With the anti-inflammatory systems of the body reduced, inflammation increases, causing further blood vessel and organ breakdown.

Much of this can be avoided, reduced, or even eliminated by recognizing its potentially harmful effects, knowing there are things to bring about health, and taking action, step by step.

Treatment Options

Now that we recognize the effects of stress on our heart, blood vessel systems and body, let us review some treatment options.  First, we must be able to identify the cause(s) of what is putting stress on us. Sometimes these are created by our own selves.  We may have a hard time saying “no,” when we do not have time, or someone else should do it.  When we do things for others who should do it, we may be depriving them of growth that they should experience.  I am often reminded of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Our stress will never end if we try to change things that we cannot change.  Even within what we can change, we must carefully choose where to spend our time and energy, and be sure we spend time in the ‘weightier matters.’  Stephen Covey addresses this concept in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He differentiates between tasks that are urgent and not urgent, and between important and not important.  Our most important matters usually revolve around the building of relationships, which are too often sacrificed on the altar of cell phones and computers, by interruptive calls, mail and trivia.

Getting Centered

This Christmas season, try playing a little game with yourself to focus on the truly meaningful gifts of Christmas.  One year, during med school, my wife and I brought home boxes by the dozens-of all shapes and sizes-as our only Christmas presents for our 3 small sons.  We obtained them for free, and our little boys played with them for months.  They received no other presents, and my wife and I gave each other nothing but our love and support.  But our children loved their Christmas that year.  Never did we feel that we had shortchanged them!  In fact, their creative skills were enhanced as they designed towns, trains, and toys to play in.

One of my patients remarked that she was overwhelmed with the “pressure” of getting everything done-a telling word-until she took the time to visit an art exhibit featuring paintings of the Savior.

In a few moments of gazing upon the miracle of His birth and His life, her perspective and her peace were restored.  Now, taking a deep breath, she realized that she could truly honor the Christmas spirit.


stress

Seminar This Thursday + Today Only: Buy any DVD, Get Stress DVD Free :)

Coming up this week, I’m giving a free short seminar on how to Enjoy the Holidays, Free from Stress.  You’re welcome to come!  It’s Thursday at 7:30 p.m., in my new (and quite bare still) office at 2332 West 12600 South in Riverton, UT 84065.  You can call and let us know you’re coming at 801-302-KEYS (5397).  We have a very limited number of chairs!  Just leave a message with your name, phone number, and how many seats you need.  I’ll have some fun specials on DVDs and other products there if you’d like to join us.

Since not all of you live in Utah, and many of you have written wishing you could come to the seminar on how to enjoy the holidays free from stress, I’ve decided to help you out with the de-stressing issue: you can get your own copy of my DVD on stress free with the purchase of any other DVD (you can even buy a Stress DVD and get another one free to give as a gift!)

Just click on the Christmas present next to this posting and you can order yours today.  Have a wonderful Monday 🙂

Dr. Stan

hormones pregnenolone steal stress

Pregnenolone Steal

Do you have any information on your site about the pregnenolone steal and the corresponding hormonal cascade and health consequences?

The pregnenolone steal is a name given to the hormone production deficit of certain hormones when the stress hormones, cortisol and cortisone, are over-produced. All our hormones come from cholesterol, which converts into pregnenolone as the first step. It then goes on to produce many hormones, including the estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, aldosterone (to regulate salt and water in the body), and the stress hormones.

If the body demands more cortisol because of stress, the body will convert more of the pregnenolone to cortisol at the expense of the other hormones (except progesterone, which is on the pathway to cortisol). The lowering of the testosterone and estrogen leg is called pregnenolone steal. The lower levels of testosterone and estrogen impart the effects noticed in the body. There are two ways to treat the deficiency:

1. Add bio-identical cortisol (hydrocortisone) at low doses to supplement the adrenal gland so it does not have to work so hard to maintain high levels of cortisol, thus releasing the pregnenolone to make more of the estrogens and testosterone.

2. Use bio-identical testosterone or estrogens to relieve the deficiency. Ultimately, the stressors must be better managed so the adrenal is not overworked, hopefully before it goes into adrenal exhaustion and stops working.

gall bladder

Gall Bladder: Risks of Removal

I have appreciated and loved your beliefs on the “Self-Healing” body. I know our bodies are amazing and complex…but that they are capable of taking care of themselves if we live well. I am concerned about my sister. She is only 32 years old and she is scheduled to have her gall bladder taken out next month. Her dr. says that it is diseased and is causing her liver to be enlarged…he wants to take the GB out before it bursts. Is there nothing else that can change it…especially for someone so young? Is a GB disease not able to get better? Do you have any suggestions or warnings? Let me know if you can. Thank you!

Gall bladder problems are only seen in industrialized nations where we eat sugar and processed food. So, step 1 is stopping all sugar and processed food if that has not already been done.

Peppermint oil is the most consistently recommended product to try to dissolve gall stones. I have used a simple liver and gall bladder flush with 1/2 cup olive oil with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice that seems to have helped my patients. Phosphatidylcholine may also decrease the ability of the bile to form stones.  Doses need to be in the 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day range. Vitamin C, 2,000 to 6,000 mg per day should also theoretically help.

Look at the past to see what’s triggering the problems: emotional upset, excessive stress.

Addressing these issues will give a better perspective on the necessity of additional action.