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The Effects Of Stress and Depression On Your Body

Anxiety and depression can have profound effects on the body, impacting both physical and mental health. It causes the release numerous substances in the body as well as the inhibition of other, resulting in a cascade of effects. Some of the common effects of anxiety and depression on the body include:

Sleep Disturbances: Stress can lead to insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns. Depending which time of the night you wake up, reflects a different organ system being under stress – this can range from liver, adrenal to lung stress patterns.

Weight Gain or Loss: Some people may overeat when stressed or depressed, while others may lose their appetite.

Skin Problems: Conditions like acne and eczema can worsen due to stress.

Gastrointestinal Issues: Stress can cause stomach ache and even gastritis or stomach ulcers. It can also worsen conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Fatigue: Anxiety can lead to feeling drained and tired. Persistent feelings of fatigue and low energy are common in depression, making it challenging to carry out daily activities.

Cognitive Effects: Difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and decreased decision-making ability are common cognitive effects of stress and depression.

Hormonal Changes: It can disrupt hormonal balance, affecting the menstrual cycle in women and fertility.

Pain and Aches: People with anxiety or depression often report physical symptoms like headaches, backaches, stomach aches and muscle pains. Depression can also exacerbate chronic pain conditions, making them more difficult to manage.

Cardiovascular Effects: It may increase blood pressure and contribute to heart problems over time.

Weakened Immune System: Chronic stress and depression can suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses.

Natural/ Complementary Treatment Options

It's essential to recognize and seek treatment for anxiety and depression to address both its mental and physical impacts. Management and treatment of anxiety and depression is multifactorial - there are various natural treatment options available and other treatment may include psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and support from healthcare professionals. Early intervention can lead to better outcomes and an improved overall quality of life.

Some general information about supplements that some people find helpful for anxiety and depression. Please consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, as individual needs and reactions can vary.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish oil supplements, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, may have a positive impact on mood.

Vitamin D: Adequate vitamin D levels are essential for overall well-being, and a deficiency may contribute to mood disorders.

B Vitamins: B vitamins, particularly B6, B9 (folate), and B12, play a role in brain function and mood regulation. Some people benefit from B-complex supplements.

Magnesium: Magnesium supplements may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, as magnesium is involved in neurotransmitter function.

L-Theanine: This amino acid found in tea leaves may promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. The Benefits of L-Theanine:

  • Reduces anxiety – without drowsiness

  • Ideal way of dealing with day-to-day stress, worry and anxiety

  • Alpha brainwaves are produced in meditation – deep relaxation with increased mental alertness. It is therefore an effective aid to deep meditation too

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Reduces PMS symptoms

GABA: is a natural calming and anti-epileptic agent in the brain that is manufactured from the amino acid glutamine and glucose. Some people with anxiety, panic disorders and depression may not manufacture sufficient levels of GABA which is why supplementing could be very beneficial for those who suffer from anxiety / stress related conditions.

Probiotics or Sporebiotics: There is emerging research on the gut-brain connection, and some individuals with mood disorders have found relief from probiotic supplements.

5-HTP: 5-Hydroxytryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and may help with mood regulation. Always consult a healthcare professional before using it. Should not be used with anti-depressant medication.

Herbal Remedies: Herbs like St. John's Wort, Valerian root, and Lavender have been used traditionally to manage anxiety and depression. However, they can interact with medications, so consult a healthcare provider.

Herbs with adaptogenic and tonic functions can help strengthen your natural resilience to stress and fatigue. The combination herbal adaptogens can help improve your energy levels, mood, focus and memory. Benefits of Glycyrrhiza glabra root:

  • Anti-stress herb known to increase energy, endurance and vitality

  • Acts as a mild tonic

  • Naturally fortifies cortisone levels

  • Helps decrease symptoms of hypoglycaemia (common side effect of decreased adrenal function)

  • Increases production of aldosterone (hormone frequently deficient in advanced adrenal fatigue)

Benefits of Ashwagandha:

  • Regulates various systems in our bodies

  • If cortisol is too high, it acts to lower it – if too low, it raises it

  • Calming effect

  • Treatment for stress-related fatigue

Benefits of Astragalus Root:

  • Boosts body’s ability to handle stress

  • Boosts immune system

  • Regulates blood sugar levels

  • Alleviates insulin resistance

Benefits of Eleutherococcus Root:

  • Protects body from debilitating effects of stress

  • Reduces fatigue

  • Assists in mental clarity and memory

  • Balances blood sugar levels

  • Supports bone remodelling

Benefits of Rhodiola Root:

  • Reduces physical and mental fatigue related to chronic stress

  • Safe - does not interact with other drugs or cause adverse effects If you are taking medication for depression, please consult your physician before taking Adrenal-Fast.

A healthcare provider can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation and needs. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and sleep play crucial roles in managing these conditions.

Dr Erika Hart

Homepathic Doctor

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