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.