What is it?
The Stress response mechanism evolved on the plains of Africa tens of millions of years ago. Its purpose back then was quite simple, to keep us alive, to protect us from predators whose goal was to kill and eat us.
Due to this most primitive function, self preservation, the way our bodies are effected by the Stress response are extreme. When our ancestors on the plains of Africa were in mortal danger, the basics to survival were all that mattered. After an encounter on the plains, their was one of two possible outcomes. Either the encounter was over with, and you survived, or you were over with.
When our ancestors came face to face with death, this automatically triggered the release of massive quantities of two hormones from our adrenal gland. Adrenaline and Glucocorticoid.
When fighting for survival, the basics of life are all that matter. The first thing the body does is to shut off anything thats not essential, such as growth, tissue repair, the immune system, reproduction (if your running for your life, its no time to ovulate), also, the digestive system shuts down and we stop salivating(our mouth dries out). All resources are diverted to the heart, lungs and muscles, which gives us the best chances of escaping.
How do I recognise it?
Everyone reacts to Stress differently. However, there are some common symptoms to look out for.
People who are chronically stressed may have:
- periods of irritability or anger
- apathy or depression
- constant anxiety
- irrational behavior, mood swings and be oversensitive
- loss of appetite
- a tendency to comfort eat
- an inability to concentrate or make decisions
- loss of sex drive
- an increased likelihood of smoking, drinking, or taking recreational drugs
There can also be physical effects, which may include the following:
- excessive tiredness
- sleep problems
- frequents colds and infections
- high blood pressure
- skin problems, such as eczema
- aches and pains from tense muscles, including neck ache, backache and tension headaches
- increased pain from arthritis and other conditions
- feeling sick and dizzy
- stomach problems including constipation, diarrhoea or ulcers
- for women, missed periods
- In times of extreme stress, people may tremble, hyperventilate (breathe faster and deeper than normal) or even vomit. For people with asthma, stress can trigger an asthma attack.
Many things (or the anticipation of them) can lead to Stress. These include:
- pressure to perform at work or school
- money worries
- family and relationship problems
- moving house
- threats of physical violence
How do you treat it?
Like any disease, even if there is no cure, there is almost always something you can do to manage it and take control. There are three main areas involved in the treatment of any disease:
- Conventional medicines
- Complementary medicines
- Complementary therapies
For information on medicines and therapies relevant to Stress, make an appointment at Lynch's Pharmacy, Broadale, Douglas, Cork on 021-4366923.
Learn all about the drugs used to treat the disease and any complementary medicines or therapies proven to help. Equip yourself with the tools to manage the condition and not be managed by it.
How do you live with it?
Certain adjustments may be needed to get on with your life, and often, some simple tips and advice can go a long way to making these changes.
When you come to a Lynch's Pharmacy Clinic we give you all the necessary information available to make your life more manageable and allow you to live better with your condition.
Stress, a comprehensive overview http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-management/MY00435