Reposted from EMediaHealth
Long-term emotional stress is a well-known culprit in the development of abnormal cortisol levels and consequent damage to the endocrine system of hormone-releasing organs throughout the body, most notably the adrenal glands that produce cortisol itself. Most of the research on this common health problem has been conducted in adults, but it turns out that abused children experience many of the same health effects seen in stressed out adults. Furthermore, studies are showing that chronic abuse can disrupt the balance of the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis for many years or decades.
On a personal note, I find this article particularly interesting. In recent months I have had some fairly unsettling issues and was quite worried about what was happening to me. My heart rate was often way too fast That familiar feeling of butterflies in my stomach that had always been the signal of a looming panic attack was constant… even when I had experienced no triggers or had any real stress in my life. I felt like I was in a state of constant anxiety, but had absolutely no reason (that I was aware of) to feel the way I did. I was also fighting issues with low blood sugar alternating with pre-diabetic blood glucose levels.
I finally confirmed endocrine system issues. I thought I was having some kind of subconscious trigger response, that maybe there was something that was setting me off that I couldn’t identify. Finding that long term stress causes these issues was a relief. It’s helpful to know that the symptoms I typically associate with solely mental processes have a solely physical source at times. I don’t have to go looking for more PTSD problems to solve.
Discovering this gives me new motivation. I know that I must keep working on my recovery, keep up with my maintenance and take other steps to protect my endocrine system. It’s not just my mind that will benefit, my body will too. Eating healthy whole foods, finding plenty of restful moments, and keeping up my exercise all have a new importance in my life. I’ve learned that sometimes just skipping a meal can cause me to have physical anxiety symptoms. Being too tired or eating too much sugar can make me feel lethargic, which feels like depression symptoms. Drinking alcohol causes blood sugar spikes and crashes, which makes me feel like I’m on a roller coaster of panic. Keeping a routine helps me to know when I am really dealing with triggers and not imbalances in my system.
I hope that you will take some time to read this article and follow up with more reading on adrenal and endocrine health. It will do you good. Maybe you will find, like I did, that not all butterflies and racing hearts are triggered by things going on in our heads.