Is life really overwhelming, or are you just stressed out?

By Dr. Joe Alaimo, MA,DC

Question?
I feel totally overwhelmed by life and like I can barely cope. I can’t quit my job, give away my children, or afford a cook and a housecleaner. Is there anything I can do for my stress levels?

Answer:
Sometimes you can dramatically alter a stressful life simply by addressing your own stress physiology. By supporting the body’s stress mechanisms the same daily duties seem less taxing.

Are you in adrenal overdrive or adrenal fatigue?

Americans are notoriously stressed out and frequently produce either too much or not enough of the stress hormone cortisol, both of which impact how you perceive stress.

A hectic lifestyle and lack of sleep aren’t the only things that contribute to adrenal dysfunction. Other factors include a diet high in starchy, sugary, and processed foods, leaky gut, gut infections, hormonal imbalances, and chronic inflammation.

High cortisol
When dealing with a high stress load, the adrenal glands pump out extra cortisol to help the body cope. High cortisol is linked to insulin resistance and diabetes, excess belly fat, insomnia, gut infections, and chronic inflammation. Research also shows it raises your risk for heart disease.

Chronically high cortisol also leads to hormonal imbalances and deficiencies. This is because the chemical compounds needed to make sex hormones, such as estrogen or testosterone, are shunted to cortisol production instead.

Low cortisol
On the other end of the spectrum is low cortisol or even adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are exhausted and cannot produce enough cortisol. These people tend to suffer from fatigue, get sick easily and recover slowly, and struggle with depression. Associated conditions include hypoglycemia, low blood pressure, poor gut function, and chronic viruses or other illnesses.

Supporting adrenal health can make life seem less stressful
Both high and low cortisol can blow life’s daily stressors out of proportion. By taking action to support your adrenal health you can handle everyday life with more ease and motivation. Making time to do something you love on a regular basis is important too. Ask us how to help you support your adrenal health through simple dietary changes tailored to your adrenal status, as well as through the use of scientifically backed botanical and nutritional compounds.

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About Dr. Joseph Alaimo
Hi, I'm Dr. Joe Alaimo. I've been practicing in Wilmington, NC , since 1995. My primary practice focus is on chronic pain and metabolic conditions.

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