Effects of stress on the body

Stress wreaks HAVOC on our body, see below for a large list of the effects of stress on the body.

  • Increased cortisol production: Associated with weight gain (especially in the belly), inability to lose weight or gain muscle, and premature aging.

  • Decreased nutrient absorption: Due to decreased digestive enzyme production; decreased bile flow from the gallbladder, as well as decreased oxygenation and gastrointestinal blood flow.

  • Increased nutrient excretion: Stress increases the urinary excretion of calcium; magnesium; potassium; zinc; chromium; selenium; and various trace minerals.

  • Decreased gut flora populations: Stress destroys healthy intestinal bacteria, which can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress.

  • Increase in sodium and fluid retention: Can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension).

  • Decrease in thermic efficiency: Ability to burn calories is diminished.

  • Decrease in thyroid hormone: Can decrease the body's metabolic activity.

  • Increase in blood cholesterol: Stress raises LDL cholesterol levels.

  • Increase in blood platelet aggregation: A major risk factor in heart disease.

  • Decrease in sex hormones: Can lower sex drive, energy, and decrease muscle mass.

  • Increase in inflammation: The basis of many ailments including brain and heart disease.

  • Decrease in gastric emptying time: Can lead to constipation and can be a risk factor in diseases of the colon.

  • Increase in gastric emptying time: Can lead to diarrhea, and food particles prematurely entering the small intestines—a probable factor in food sensitivities, and various disease conditions.

  • Increased food sensitivities: Most likely due to decreased immunity and leaky gut.

  • Decreased hydrochloric acid production: The majority of people will experience a reduction of stomach acid in the presence of stress as the nervous system diverts blood flow away from digestive organs.

  • Decrease in growth hormone: A key hormone in growing, healing and rebuilding tissues; helps burn fat and build muscle.

  • Increase in insulin resistance: Chronic low-level stress may cause target cells to become unresponsive to insulin—a factor in diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and aging.

  • Increase in erratic function of LES: Lower esophageal sphincter opens inappropriately, causing gastric reflux (heartburn).

  • Increase in oxidative stress: Prematurely ages the body; a precursor to many diseases.

  • Increased risk of osteoporosis: Bone density has been shown to decrease in stressed and depressed women; stress increases the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium and boron.

To your health and happiness,

Nicole Ritter

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