The Health Impact of by sdsdfqw21


									               The Health Impact of
    How to recognise the signs that stress is affecting your
            health and what you can do about it.


Justin Smith
We all know the feeling of being stressed. Some people thrive when they are under pressure
and juggling multiple projects, however, stress becomes destructive when there is too much
of it for the body to cope. Under excessive stress, the body literally starts to breakdown.

The most common signs or symptoms associated with stress are:

                        Things take longer to do than before
                                 Memory not as good
                         Irritability / less tolerance of others
                               Mild depression / anxiety
                                       Poor sleep
                            Wake-up feeling un-refreshed
                                      Feeling dizzy
                              Fainting (low blood sugar)
                          Digestion problems, bloating etc
                                      Feeling cold
                             Allergies / food intolerances
                                High / Low blood pressure

                                Carbohydrate cravings
                                  Craving salty foods
                           Muscle / Joint aches and pains
                 Reliance on stimulants, coffee, coke, red bull etc
                              Weight gain / Weight loss

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                    Where Does Stress Come From?
All the different kinds of stress accumulate and produce a collective heavy toll on the body.
Many sources of stress are obvious, like psychological trauma and pressure from work. But
less obvious stressors include metabolic stress from a poor diet and 'hidden' stress from food

       Physical Stress                             Psychological Stress
    fractures, muscle injuries, whiplash           fear, worry, anxiety
    nerve compression                              grief, death of a loved one, depression

    no exercise / too much exercise                financial pressure

    travelling to different time zone              divorce / separation, relationship stress

    lack of sleep                                  trauma and abuse

    other structural injuries                      moving house

    surgery                                        job loss

    drug use                                       concern over world affairs

    any kind of chronic illness                    feeling of no control over situation

                                                   feeling trapped in a situation
     'Hidden' Stress
                                                   lack of choice / options
     food allergies / intolerances

     candida / fungi                              Metabolic Stress
     heavy metals                                  dieting

     other toxins                                  poor diet

     infection                                     nutrient imbalances

     parasites                                     blood glucose problems

     helicobacter pylori                           dehydration

     chemical sensitivities                        coffee / cola / other stimulants

Justin Smith     
                   How the Body Reacts to Stress
Whatever the stress is and wherever it comes from, it activates the same mechanism within
the body.

The Stress Response



                                                            cortisol              DHEA

When we perceive stress, the brain (via the hypothalamus) sends a signal to the pituitary
gland. The pituitary gland then sends a signal to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands
produce the hormones that protect us from stress. These hormones are cortisol and DHEA.

Justin Smith
The production of these stress hormones is associated with the fight or flight system. The
fight or flight system was needed by our ancestors since it helped them to deal with an
immediate life-threatening situation. It involves a number of changes in the body that enable
our muscles and our reflexes to work much more efficiently.

The problem, of course, is that this exact same stress mechanism is being continuously
activated in our modern environment, where for the most part, it is not needed.

Whereas in the past the stress response was activated by a saber tooth tiger, it is now being
activated by pressures at work, relationship problems, or financial pressures, etc.

When the stress response is being frequently activated, the adrenal glands are called upon to
produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. We initially see high levels of this hormone, as
shown at the beginning of stage I in the diagram on the next page.

Justin Smith  
                                          Showing the level of cortisol at
                                          different stages on the way to

Cortisol is an extremely important hormone that is needed for many bodily functions and it
is required by every cell. However, when cortisol is too high it can tear the body apart.
Sustained high cortisol levels:

      Destroy healthy muscle and bone
      Slow down healing and normal cell regeneration
      Impair digestion
      Impair metabolism and mental function
      Interfere with healthy endocrine function
      Weaken the immune system

Justin Smith
               Stress Affects Hormones and Sex Drive
Cortisol is made in the adrenal glands from the parent hormone Pregnenolone. However,
Pregnenolone is also the parent hormone for other hormones besides cortisol, as shown in
the diagram below. Pregnenolone is used to make cortisol, DHEA, testosterone and




When the demands for cortisol increase, the cortisol pathway can 'steal' more Pregnenolone
(the Pregnenolone that would normally be used to make DHEA, testosterone and
oestrogen). This may result in low levels of sex hormones (testosterone and oestrogen)
because they are sacrificed in order to make more cortisol. This is the main reason why
stress is often associated with a decreased libido.

In some cases, the main stressors can be eliminated at this stage and the body rapidly repairs
itself. But if the environment and lifestyle factors that are causing the activation of the stress
response are not modified, then the body's ability to make cortisol eventually becomes
compromised. Causing the high level of cortisol to reduce, and now become too low.

As the cortisol level drops, we enter into stage II of exhaustion. This is often associated with:

      Insomnia
      Weight gain
      Problems regulating blood sugar
      Frequent illness
      Pain and inflammation,
      More digestive disturbances
      Constipation / diarrhea
      High/low blood pressure
      PMS
      Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD, other mental/emotional problems, etc.

Justin Smith       
                                 The Warning Signs
As the cortisol levels continue to drop, we often see more and more symptoms appear and the
severity of the symptoms increase. These symptoms are really nothing more than waring signs that
the body is no longer able to adapt or cope with the stress.

Unfortunately, at this stage doctors typically prescribe medications that only suppress or cover up
the symptoms (antihistamines, antidepressants, antiacids, etc.). This is like taking the warning light
bulb out of the car – the warning light stops bothering us, but the damage continues to a deeper

With the warning signs successfully covered up. the progressive processes producing fatigue,
exhaustion, biochemical imbalance, metabolic inefficiency and degeneration are allowed to

Eventually the situation progresses to Stage III. In stage III of exhaustion the body is clearly losing
the fight and is nearing the end of its capacities to deal with the stressors. As a result, cortisol,
progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and the oestrogens are all low and typically also out of balance
with one another. Actual diagnosable degenerative disease is either present or close to becoming an
unfortunate reality.

The immune system, cardiovascular system, brain and nervous system, detoxification system, bones
and muscles, the ability to breakdown fat, may be seriously compromised and body reserves are
depleted. Stage III is a serious state. Put simply, there is no Stage IV. This situation is often
referred to as Adrenal Exhaustion or Adrenal Insufficiency.

Mainstream medicine is currently only concerned when we get to the end of stage III. The
medical term for this is Addison's Disease, and it is associated with dangerously low levels
of cortisol, along with other hormonal imbalances.

Justin Smith       
                               What Can be Done?
It is clear that the various stages of exhaustion can be associated with a wide range of symptoms
and health-related problems, and Addison's Disease can be life-threatening (requiring regular
injections of cortisol). But most people can avoid these later stages of exhaustion with
support for the adrenal glands, the right nutrition, and appropriate lifestyle changes.

It is worth mentioning that the hormones cortisol, DHEA, testosterone and oestrogen are all
made ultimately from cholesterol. So stress of any kind might increase the requirements for
cholesterol (the raw material for the hormones). In fact, the stress response can affect
cholesterol levels in several different ways.

Unfortunately, at present, the majority of doctors are only concerned with prescribing
cholesterol-lowering medications and fail to look into any underlining problem. Cholesterol
medications interfere with cholesterol production in the body and work against the body's
own healing process.

The first step is to assess the current situation by taking a comprehensive health screen and
health history. The next step ideally includes one or more laboratory tests. There are three
tests that are very good for assessing the health impact of stress. These are hair analysis, an
adrenal stress test, and neurotransmitter testing.

Hair Analysis

Justin Smith     
Hair analysis is very good for looking at your overal state of health. It provides us with a
good indication of:

      Overal stress levels
      Toxicity levels (heavy metals)
      General mineral levels
      Thyroid gland stress
      Adrenal gland stress
      Inflammation
      Immune strength
      Blood glucose fluctuations

A small hair sample is sent to the laboratory using the sample collection kit provided.

Adrenal Stress Test

The adrenal stress test directly measures the level of the hormones cortisol and DHEA – the
two main stress related hormones produced by the adrenal glands. It involves collecting a
saliva sample in a test tube four times in one day. Again, a sample collection kit is provided.

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Neurotransmitter Testing
The stress response is activated through the nervous system. A signal is sent via chemical
messengers known as neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters get used-up much more
quickly under stress and deficiencies are often seen. The neurotransmitters also become
imbalanced compared with each other.

It is the neurotransmitters that are very often associated with the psychological symptoms of
stress and post traumatic stress disorder. Surprisingly, the neurotransmitter balance is almost
always overlooked by health care professionals.

The test for neurotransmitter levels is achieved by sending a urine sample to the laboratory
for analysis. The levels present can then be compared against optimum levels. A nutritional
supplement programme is then designed to correct any imbalances.

  Neurotransmitter          Plays a Role In                                    Inhibitory/

  Serotonin                                                                    Inhibitory
                            Sleep cycle, depression, anxiety,
                            carbohydrate cravings, PMS

  Dopamine                                                                     Inhibitory /
                            Focus, attention, memory, motivation/drive,
                            mood, addictive disorders

  Noradrenaline                                                                Excitatory
                            Energy, drive, stimulation, insomnia, anxiety

  Adrenaline                                                                   Excitatory
                            Metabolism, energy, depression, cognitive

  GABA                      Reduces excess stimulation                         Inhibitory

  Glutamate                                                                    Excitatory
                            Agitation, sleeplessness, depression when

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                                      Recovery Programme
Armed with the information from the health screen, advice can be given about the
appropriate use of any laboratory tests. Then, a recovery program can be built. Generally.
this will involve both dietary and lifestyle changes. You will be given information about
how to support the body nutritionally when under stress. You will also be provided with
various tips for restoring proper function to the adrenal glands.

Initial consultation and comprehensive health screen........£55

Hair analysis lab test...........................................................£65

Adrenal stress test (saliva)..................................................£80

Neurotransmitter urine analysis..........................................£150

Follow-up consultations......................................................£45

Please note that in many cases only one laboratory test is required initially, and in some
cases it is possible to proceed directly from the information obtained during the
comprehensive health screen, without the need for laboratory tests. This all depends, of
course, on the severity of symptoms and how long stress has been affecting your health.

Consultations can be held at your place of work (if based in London) or over the telephone.

The initial consultation can be ordered at              .
You will be sent a health questionnaire to complete prior to your consultation appointment.

For further details please contact Justin Smith via the website or email

Justin Smith                   

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