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The Stress Connection

Category Health

I recently read an article on Yahoo Health that led to a great discussion[https://www.yahoo.com/health/5-surprising-ways-stress-messes-with-your-health-100845677127.html].

Many patients come into my office and tell me that they are stressed. They either have family situations that require extra care, work is more demanding or a variety of other stressors that can arise in life. They are always amazed when I tell them that stress can have a huge impact on weight and physical well-being. This article outlines how stress can affect health. The article points out that stress can:

Impact your brain: the more often your brain undergoes stress the less ability you have to control how the stress affects you.

Impact gut bacteria: your digestive tract is full of good bacteria that help fight off sickness and digest foods. Stress can alter the environment of the tract, causing death of some of the good stuff!

Lead to inflammation: inflammation of your cells is often how the body protects against diseases and intruders. However, sustained high inflammation due to stress can lead to issues with insulin resistance and plaque buildup in arteries.

AND THE BIG ONE

Make you want junk food: stress can amplify the activation in certain brain areas, which make us motivated to consume calorically-dense food. Thus we look for foods to meet that need, typically high sugar/high fat foods.

This information reminds us how important our mental health is and how vital it is that we find ways to de-stress.

 

Katherine Horner, MS, RD, LD, NASM-CPT, CES

Surgical Weight Loss Dietitian and Exercise Specialist

 

Photo from epilepsyu.com

Information from Yahoo Health