Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND
One of the biggest discussions currently in science is the relationship between psychological stress, emotions and chronic inflammatory disease states.
In Naturopathic Medicine, we consider the whole person – mind, body and spirit. In my private practice, I notice that even if patients are becoming nutritionally balanced and exercising regularly, if they are under a lot of stress, if they are dealing with intense emotions and overwhelmed on a regular basis, then that can still wreak havoc in their health. Patients will say “but, I am doing all the right things…” but if their perceived life stressors and their poor coping mechanisms are not addressed, then those can still have a powerful impact on their health outcomes.
Chronic stress will affect our cortisol levels. Cortisol is produced by our adrenal glands and it is considered our “stress hormone”. Cortisol can be tested in the blood or in a saliva sample. Elevated or depleted levels of cortisol can lead to more inflammation, making it a great measuring physiological marker used for assessments. So if you want to know if stress is affecting your health or if stress is making you inflamed or making you fat? Then ask us or your naturopathic doctor to test your cortisol levels.
If you do think that stress is contributing to your health problem, then the first step is to discuss this with someone who can help you. Studies show that just by talking about your emotional problems can be a great first step in fixing the problem. Also, be aware of the connection between emotions and eating. Talking about your problems or improving your coping mechanisms can decrease the risk for emotional eating. You can also consider making time for more leisure activities, creative expression, and an intentional mindset of gratitude. These outlets may seem simple but they can extremely healing and beneficial.
If you would like more information about how we can help you manage your stress, please contact the clinic at 905-239-3900 to book an appointment.