Did you know?

How stress affects your health

When the body is stressed, a message is sent from the brain, along the Autonomic Nerves to the Adrenal Glands which sit just above the kidneys. These glands then release two hormones called Adrenalin and Noradrenalin. These hormones increase the heart rate, respiratory rate, blood sugar and blood pressure. They prepare the body for a “Fight or Flight” situation.

If the stress continues for more than a short period of time, the Pituitary Gland in the brain signals for other hormones to be released from the Adrenal Glands. These hormones include: Cortisol, Aldosterone, Testosterone and Oestrogen.

Cortisol increases the blood sugar and suppresses the immune system. There is then an increased demand on the vitamins and minerals needed by the body to cope with this state of continued stress. These vitamins and minerals become depleted and this causes further stress to the body.

Nutrients that are vital for reproductive health such as ZINC, VIT C and FOLIIC ACID are among the first to become depleted.

Because the Adrenal Glands secrete Oestrogen and Testosterone, a hormonal imbalance also occurs.

If the stressor is reduced or removed but we maintain a stressed or anxious state of mind, the cycle will continue. This will lead to the shrinking and malfunction of the Adrenal Glands. Serious health problems such as cancer and ME may arise.

It is therefore vital to evaluate your stress levels as well as your perceptions and reactions to stress to maintain a healthy body and mind.

How your posture can affect your health

Do you sit hunched up over your computer for hours on end each day?

This posture has an adverse effect on your respiratory, nervous and energy systems.

Breathing- try this……..have a good slouch……go on drop that chin towards your knees………now try to take a deep breath, do you feel like much air was filling your lungs and expanding your chest? Impossible! Now imagine that a string is pulling on the very top of your head and that you are straightening up, your breast bone is pointing straight ahead and not at the floor………now take a deep breath……feel the difference?

Oxygen is vital for life, your body will function far better if you improve your oxygen uptake.

Nervous system- running down each side of your thoracic spine (ie. The area between your shoulder blades) is a chain of nerves called the Sympathetic chain. These nerves supply the organs and glands in our bodies, controlling their functions and secretions. This part of your nervous system also has connections to the limbic system in the brain, which is the emotional centre. When you slouch, these chains are compressed against the ribs, reducing the blood supply to the nerves (yes! Nerves also need a blood supply!) and affecting the signasl that these nerves can send out to organs and glands.

Energy- think about how you feel when you are crunched up in that slouch………do you feel alive and full of energy?......do you feel full of joy or down in the dumps?........do you feel strong and powerful?

Now sit up tall again….isn’t it easier to smile in this position and feel that smile throughout you body? Don’t you feel much stronger? Your posture affects your emotions more than you realise. ‘Opening’ the front of your body and straightening up is a happy and strong position energetically and mentally

Amazing Zinc

As we grow up, we hear so little about ZINC but it is one of the most important minerals for our health and for disease prevention. It is vital for many hormone activities (including the sex hormones), essential for normal brain development and absolutely necessary for a healthy immune system. Zincs main role is the protection and repair of the DNA which is found in every cell of our bodies.

Zinc deficiency has been linked to:

  • Decreased fertility, particularly in males as it is vital for the formation of sperm, fortunately this can be reversed with supplements.
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Congenital malformations, low birth weight infants, pregnancy complications.
  • Depression (including postnatal depression), sleep disorders, hyperactivity, aggression, alzheimers.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency are:

  • White marks on nails
  • Lack of appetite or lack of appetite control
  • Pallor
  • Infertility
  • Poor skin, including stretch marks and acne
  • Mental and emotional problems
  • Poor immune system function

Substances that decrease zinc levels include:

  • Wheat
  • Copper
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol

Stress creates an increased demand on our vitamin and mineral supplies, zinc being one of the minerals to become depleted first.

So next time you are having a stressful morning and gulp down you multivitamins with your cup of coffee, think to yourself ……’what am I doing to my zinc status?’