Are you aware of all the hidden stressors in your life? When you think about stress, what does this mean for you? Does it include:
- Job stress?
- Financial stress?
- Relationship stress?
- Kid stress?
- What am I doing with my life stress?
Most of us think of stress as mental or emotional – having to do with our relationships, work environment, finances, and states of being. Do you have anxiety, depression, and/or angst about where you are and what you wish you were doing with your life?
Have you ever considered how physical stressors have affected your life? Have you ever been in an accident, had a bad fall, gotten a concussion or broken a bone?
What if I told you most of us have hidden stressors in our bodies? By HIDDEN, I mean in the Hormone, Immune, Digestive, Detoxification, Energy and Neurological systems?
I considered my medical history to be pretty benign – a few minor surgeries growing up, yeast infections, strep throat and breast implants and so on. While some of the events seemed like a big deal at the time, I got through them and thought I moved on. But, had I?
When I reflect back through a holistic lens, every single one of these events added stress to my body. Even though I did not “see” the stressors, they certainly left their mark.
Repercussions of Stress
Stress in any form, be it physical, emotional, or HIDDEN, signals the hormone cortisol to be on high alert to meet the body’s demand for energy to deal with that stress. When cortisol is constantly elevated, it eventually tanks and all body systems are weakened. A downward spiral of function sets in.
Symptoms are the last to appear in this process. By the time someone notices symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, allergies, constipation, joint pain, thinning hair, weight gain or loss, for example, the body is already in metabolic chaos ™.
Importance of Asking Questions
As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, FDN-P, I learned how stressors affected my body and led me to the health I have today. As a FDN-P, I began to think like a detective, searching for the root cause of a symptom, rather than just treating the symptom itself.
I started asking a lot of questions:
- Why did I get strep throat every other week as a teenager?
- What was prompting the growth of cysts?
- What caused me to develop an ulcer as a young adult?
- Why was I getting yeast infections?
- What caused my fertility issues?
- Why was my body betraying me leading up to my divorce and after?
There is typically no space for a why conversation in a standard medical practice. Medical doctors are not trained to asked why; they are trained to treat symptoms and diagnose conditions and disease.
Pharmaceutical drugs or other treatments may make symptoms abate or sometimes disappear for awhile. And, medical doctors can and do surgically remove or repair body parts that are not functioning properly. They manage chronic disease by managing symptoms. Did you know the average American takes four medications?
There is a time and place for medication and the practice of western medicine. I have been grateful for the times in my life when I needed surgery and prescription drugs to help me get better.
When the Root Cause is Not Treated
However, treating symptoms with a band aid by covering them up for now leads to two scenarios:
- Side effects of medications – all drugs have side effects.
- The “why” or root cause has never been addressed so the symptom or illness keeps rearing its ugly head.
I keep thinking of the image of a weighted inflatable clown. When I was a young child, my mom would put my brother and me in daycare at the bowling alley while she played in her league. There was one toy in the play area that haunted me. It was an inflatable clown, towering over me. I would punch it and it went down. But, inevitably, it popped back up.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when the root cause of a symptom, illness or disease is not addressed. It continues to rear its ugly head and usually gets worse over time.
Test, Don’t Guess
As a FDN student, I was required to run at-home lab tests to identify healing opportunities in my own body. At this point in time, I felt tired, had trouble concentrating, intermittent joint pain, insomnia, and was sporting a few extra pounds. I chalked this all up to being an aging, stressed and busy single mom with too much on her plate.
When my lab results came in, they gave clues I had hormone imbalance, liver congestion, leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth and a bacterial gut infection, The reality hit me – I was just like the clients in the case studies I read about. I erroneously thought I was immune to the degree of dysfunction they endured.
Stress over the course of my life had worn me down. It manifested in my body in sneaky ways. I embraced the FDN natural D.R.E.S.S protocol. I have made changes in diet and lifestyle, specifically in the areas of Diet, Rest, Exercise, Supplements and Stress Reduction.
Within one month, my fatigue dissipated and my memory and concentration improved. I fell asleep pretty soon after my head hit the pillow and noticed weeks later my knees no longer ached when I bent down or exercised. Four months later, I realized I had lost 12 pounds, without trying to lose weight, by reducing inflammation, balancing hormones, and supplementing nutrients my body was unable to make on its own.
While I did get rid of my bacterial infection after five months, I am still addressing the imbalance of microorganisms in my gut. Upon a retest (important to do once you finish a protocol to see what has improved and what may need further attention,) a yeast overgrowth surfaced after my breast explant.
Healing Takes Time
I remind myself it took years for stressors to adversely affect my health so I must show myself kindness and patience with my body’s healing process. This is self care.
What are the stressors in your life’s story that have led you to the way you feel today? Have you thought about potential HIDDEN stressors that might be going on inside your body right now?
I want to empower you to seek the health you deserve to support your happiness.
Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking the orange box that says free 1:1 consultation on any page of my website. We can then explore your health concerns, what you want to be experiencing instead, and how I can help.
I want to empower you with the tools to heal. If you do not take action now to correct what is out of balance, your health will not be able to support the life you want to live. It is that simple.