Signs and symptoms of a poor stress response (beyond feeling anxious)

Stress is everywhere. No one is immune and it affects all of us in unique ways. Due to it’s highly variable nature there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to stress management. However I believe that if we understand the root cause of stress in our lives then we are better equipped to overcome it. This is what my book ‘A Life Less Stressed’ is all about, it’s about identifying the root causes and understanding that this is a multifactorial issue. I believe it comes in a variety of forms including nutritional, environment, postural, emotional and dental stress. Because of all it’s varying forms we often forget that to be stressed isn’t just to feel anxious, but can manifest in a variety of ways.

Listen: Dr. Ron Ehrlich’s Healthy Bite Episode: Hormesis: Intentional Stress to Boost Immune Function. Post continues after audio.

Signs and symptoms of stress:

  • Reduced mental health – anxiety, poor concentration, excessive worry, insomnia, depression, extreme fatigue
  • Cardiovascular symptoms – palpitations
  • Digestive dysfunction – cramps, IBS, food intolerance, reduced stomach acid
  • Poor immune function – inflammation, increased infection, more sensitive/susceptible to allergies
  • Metabolic dysfunction – insulin resistance, obesity
  • Hormonal and thyroid issues – PMS, mood changes, thyroid imbalance
  • Musculoskeletal disorders – tension headaches, muscle tension
  • Other signs/symptoms – reduced vision and/or hearing, fatigue, poor skin health

These are just some of the signs and symptoms you may be stressed. Additionally there are a number of risk factors that contribute to chronic stress including:

  • Chronic inflammation
  • Autoimmune
  • Toxicity
  • Food intolerances and allergies
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • overweight/obesity
  • Poor sleep
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Psychological stress
  • Major life changes – death, relationship change

Listen: Dr. Ron Ehrlich interviews Dr. Sarah Woodhouse. Post continues after audio.

How do we manage it?

This is the million dollar question and a big one at that. It’s a big topic I explore in great detail in part 3 of my book by offering guidance on improving sleep, breathing, nourishment, movement and thought. Additionally I’ll be exploring how we manage stress on my blog and podcast over the coming months, so stay tuned. As some simple guidelines we need to prioritise sleep, engage in regular movement/exercise, practice meditation and gratitude. Additionally we need to be consuming a whole foods diet rich in vitamins and minerals, healthy fats and good quality protein. Digestive health should be a priority. Finally we need to ask for help – whether that is the support of your friends and family or support from a specific health professional.

Order your copy of A Life Less Stressed here