Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

Why Does Stress Cause Weight Gain?

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Stress has a short term effect of lost of appetite; the brain releases corticotropin hormones that reduce hunger.  Adrenaline is also released, which activates the fight or flight response in the body to temporarily decreases your appetite. However, if you are experiencing constant stress, the suprarenal gland will start releasing cortisol which actually increases appetite as well. Cortisol levels will fall once the body returns to homeostasis, but if the body continues to be subjected to stress in the long term, cortisol levels will remain high and can negatively affect your health.

How Cortisol and Stress Increase Eating

When your body is under pressure and stress with cortisol in an elevated state, your body tends to crave foods that are higher in sugar and fat.  This is considered emotional eating.  Emotional eating can be so strong that many eaters feel powerless over their food cravings; they can’t control their desires for unhealthy food or eating it.

Additional factors include the sleep deprivation, increased alcohol intake and a decrease in exercise for those experiencing physical or emotional distress in the long term.  All of these factors exacerbate stress and may play a large role in weight gain.

Decrease or Address Stress, Get Plenty of Sleep and Eat Well

There are many ways to reduce stress to prevent weight gain. First off, you should avoid buying foods high in fat and sugar. If they are not easily within reach, you are less likely to eat them.  Meditation is also a great technique to reduce stress and also become more mindful of your eating habits. You may want to try tai chi or yoga because they are a combination of meditation and exercise which helps to significantly reduce stress.

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Controlling Inflammation levels

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Inflammation is the body’s reaction to infections and it occurs to protect your body and  keep it healthy. There are two types of inflammation that may happen in your body: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation would be the “good” type of inflammation, as it helps your body heal by sending white blood cells to the troubled area. Acute inflammation also doesn’t last very long because your body typically heals quickly. Chronic inflammation does the opposite of acute inflammation, the white blood cells burn through healthy tissue or organs instead of healing your body. It is important to have your inflammation levels tested by getting a C-reactive protein blood test (CRP).  The CRP will be elevated if your body is dealing with inflammation.

The CRP test is not diagnostic, but it does provide relevant information to your health provider if inflammation is present.  The test results, along with other information from a physical exam can determine if there is acute or chronic inflammation occurring in the body.

Diet and exercise are the primary ways to beat inflammation.  Try to avoid processed foods which contain high amounts of sugar and fats.  Increase your level of activity.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym everyday.  Adding activity can be as simple as decreasing the amount of time you spend sitting, increasing walking and other activities throughout the day.

The CRP test is offered on our website: www.HealthOneLabs.com. You may read more about inflammation in this article.


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How to Have a Less Stressful Lifestyle

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Having a little bit of stress or pressure on you can often better your productivity and senses, however, having a high amount of stress on you can hinder you from doing everything that you’d like to get done. A lot stress can make you sick both mentally and physically. In order for you to lower your stress level, you need to first identify the symptoms of stress and then take action. If you experience moodiness, trouble falling asleep, negative thoughts and an overwhelming feeling then you might be too stressed out.

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The first step to reduce your stress is to identify the symptoms, and the second is to take action. There are many things you can do to reduce stress and lead a healthier lifestyle. You should try to have a more positive attitude to things that are in your control, don’t worry too much about things that you can’t change. Exercise is key when trying to reduce stress levels, it is recommended to exercise for at least thirty minutes a day. Exercise goes hand in hand with your eating habits. You should strive to eat foods that are high in protein and contain vitamin C, B, and A which help to lower stress. It is also important to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night, being well rested allows you to have a more positive attitude. You should have a group of people who support you and that you can count on for help, like if there’s something bothering you, you can go to these people and express your feelings. You should never have feelings bottled up, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a friend or a family member about something, seek help from a counselor. Lastly, you should simplify your schedule for the things that are really important in your life, spreading yourself too thin might be the source of your stress.

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