ARTICLE How Bad is Stress
How bad is stress?
by: Jerry Hickey, R. Ph.
Healthy Tips from our Scientific Director
How bad is stress? Recent headlines give an indication; “Stress makes allergies worse and last longer,” and “Childhood stress tied to adult mental problems.” Stress triggers the release of hormones from the adrenal glands; small glands that sit atop each kidney. Normally you need stress hormones to survive, but when they are released over a long period they have negative effects. They contribute to insomnia, poor immune function, elevated blood sugar and worsening memory. They also contribute to weight gain.
- To improve stress exercise regularly, aim for 7 hours of sleep, avoid stimulants such as caffeine and meditate.
- Taking a news holiday may help, as does a trip to the country or concentrating on a hobby or sport. Sex is great for reducing stress.
- The amino acid L-Theanine obtained from the green tea plant is a great stress buster and it isn’t habit forming. It doesn’t cause drowsiness, in fact it imparts a state of relaxed but improved focus and concentration.
- The herbs Passionflower, Chamomile, Hops, Valerian, and Lemon Balm are soothing and at a larger serving size can improve the quality of sleep.
- B-complex vitamins. Vitamin C and the mineral Magnesium are also helpful in times of stress.