Dr.Brouse is passionate about helping people gain control of their health. He accomplish this by designing individual programs including diet, exercise, stress management and the use of proven nutritional supplements to achieve this for my patients. He follows the practice of natural nutrition and lifestyle espoused by Dr. Shaklee, whom he met in 1976. He is a gifted speaker with the ability to communicate scientific information in a manner that the general public can understand and apply. Dr. Brouse has authored books, training programs, and documentaries on health and wellness for over 40 years. He founded the Sunnyside Health Center and Chiropractic Clinic in 1977. Since that time many people have regained a greater measure of health while following his recommendations. He continues his nutritional counseling of health-minded people throughout the world.
Chronic stress is the response to emotional pressure suffered for a prolonged period over which an individual perceives he or she has no control. It involves an endocrine system response in which occurs a release of corticosteroids. This may lead to high blood pressure (and subsequently heart disease), damage to muscle tissue, inhibition of growth, suppression of the immune system, rapid aging, muscle damage and mental health problems.
Symptoms of Chronic Stress
Symptoms of chronic stress can vary from individual to individual depending upon conditioning experiences. These can include post traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, early graying of hair, anxiety, depression, social isolation, headache, abdominal pain or lack of sleep to back pain and difficulty concentrating. Other symptoms include panic attacks or a panic disorder. Chronic stress can increase an individual’s risk for psychiatric disorders and some physical disorders, especially cardiovascular diseases.
Hans Selye (1907–1982), known as the “father of stress”, is credited with first studying and identifying stress. He studied stress effects by subjecting lab mice to various physical, antigenic, and environmental stressors, including excessive exercise, starvation, and extreme temperatures. He determined that regardless of the type of stress, the mice exhibited similar physical effects, including thymus gland deterioration and the development of ulcers. Selye then developed his theory of general adaptive syndrome (GAS) in 1936, known today as “stress response”. He concluded that humans exposed to prolonged stress could also experience hormonal system breakdown and subsequently develop conditions such as heart disease and elevated blood pressure. Selye considered these conditions to be “diseases of adaptation”, or the effects of chronic stress caused by heightened hormonal and toxic metabolic chemical levels. His research on acute and chronic stress responses introduced stress to the medical field. It is still poorly understood and most often managed with mind altering drugs
Stress Changes Our Metabolism
Animals exposed to distressing events over which they have no control respond by releasing corticosteroids.
Two main classes of corticosteroids, glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, are involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including stress response, immune response, and regulation of inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, blood electrolyte levels, and behavior.
Some common naturally occurring steroid hormones are cortisol (C 21H 30O 5), corticosterone (C 21H 30O 4), cortisone (C 21H 28O 5) and aldosterone (C 21H 28O
5). (Note that aldosterone and cortisone share the same chemical formula but the structures are different.) The main corticosteroids produced by the adrenal cortex are cortisol and aldosterone.
The sympathetic branch of the nervous system is activated, also releasing epinephrine and norepinephrine. Chronic stress has an adaptive effect where animals and humans adapt to a pending stress. We learn to ignore the minor discomfort and eventually accept it as the norm. Our body adjusts until it depletes essential nutrients and consequently fails to make proper hormones and enzymes.
Why Do We Tolerate Chronic Stressors?
Stress has a role in humans as a method of reacting to difficult and possibly dangerous situations. The “fight or flight” response when one perceives an acute threat helps the body exert energy to fight or run away to live another day. This response is noticeable when the adrenal glands release epinephrine, causing the blood vessels to constrict and heart rate to increase. In addition, cortisol is another hormone that is released under stress and its purpose is to raise the glucose level in the blood. Glucose is the main energy source for human cells and its increase during time of stress is for the purpose of having energy readily available for over active cells
Chronic stress on the other hand, is an adaptation to a low level stress. The example of dropping water slowly on the forehead of a restricted person eventually causes the same effect as hitting them with a sledge hammer – it just takes a little longer. A number of recent studies have revealed that chronic stress is also known to be associated with an accelerated loss of telomeres. So, do you see how chronic stress (unrelenting low level threats) can operate below our acute detection level and eventually wear down our reserves and promote chronic age related disease?
The Brain and Immune Relationship
Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. PNI takes an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating nutrition, psychology, neuroscience, immunology, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, psychiatry, behavioral medicine, infectious diseases, endocrinology, and rheumatology.
The main interests of PNI are the interactions between the nervous and immune systems and the relationships between mental processes and health. Natural physicians who PNI study, among other things, the physiological functioning of the neuroimmune system in health and disease; disorders of the neuroimmune system (autoimmune diseases; allergies; food and chemical sensitivities; and the physical, chemical and physiological characteristics of the components of the neuroimmune system.
With a sensible diet and supplementation it is possible to reduce the effects of stress, avoid some common problems, and protect your health.
Things To Consider
Indigestion. This can result from eating in the middle of a stressful situation, as the digestive system is not relaxed. It also can be due to eating on the run, so always sit down to eat and eat more slowly, chewing food properly. You will then really taste and enjoy your meals and snacks.
Bloating. As we all know, bloating is unpleasant, and stressful in itself. It could be triggered by wheat products (bread, pasta, cakes and biscuits) and dairy products (milk, cheese, butter and cream), so try cutting out each food group for a couple of weeks to see if the problem eases.
Shaklee Optiflora DI can be especially helpful for bloating.
Caffeine dependency. Relying on caffeine to keep you going is a bad idea. It raises stress hormones and can lead to insomnia and dehydration, affecting your body’s ability to handle stress. There are many delicious caffeine-free alternatives, such as Shaklee 180 Herb teas.
Hangovers. No one functions well with a hangover, so drinking alcohol on a regular basis (1 or more servings per week) will lead to trouble the following day. This does not mean that you need to avoid alcohol completely, just be aware of its effects, and resist using it regularly as a coping technique. Shaklee B Complex and Liver DTX are great to help reduce the affects of occasional alcohol damage to the liver and nervous system.
Cravings. These often hit during the ‘post-lunch dip’, and increase at hormonal times and under stress. To curb your cravings, include small portions of the craved item into your usual diet, rather than trying to resist completely. Or distract yourself by getting involved in something else, and the craving may pass. Keep healthy food nearby, and do not wait too long between snacks. Shaklee 180 Snack Bars are great for controlling cravings.
Sugar highs and lows. Although the brain needs glucose to enable it to perform effectively, very sugary foods cause your blood sugar level to spike and then plummet, leaving you sleepy and lethargic. This can lead to another sweet craving, and the cycle continues. Starting the day with Life Shaklee protein and keeping up with protein snacks is a proven way to reduce the “sugar blues.
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