You may not always be able to control your environment, but you can manage the impact stress has on your brain. In response to stress, your Adrenal system produces cortisol to allow you to deal with the stressor at hand. This is also known as the fight or flight mechanism. If cortisol levels remain high beyond the initial stress, it may lead to cloudy thinking. Your rational thinking may become less logical as you move into a coping rather than thriving mode. Anxiety and stress are closely linked. Anxiety affects 25% of the Australian population and is three times more prevalent than depression.
There are measurable changes in hormones, neurotransmitters, mineral balance, pH and inflammatory markers in the body when anxiety is present. Physical changes like these respond to specific supplement treatment beyond the obvious lifestyle recommendations we are all familiar with.
Studies verify that under stress your immune system drops and the likelihood of catching a cold is doubled. More importantly, when under stress, the immune system is less able to respond to the hormonal controls for inflammation. Inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as heart disease, asthma, autoimmunity, insulin resistance, and weight gain over the waist area, loss of muscle mass, depression, and accelerated ageing. Stress may lead to shrinkage of your brain as neurons in the Hippocampus are affected.
- Saliva cortisol and DHEA — basic stress hormones are checked at four times during a 24 hour period to determine if your pattern is out of balance.
- Copper/zinc — blood test or Hair Mineral Analysis- copper may be a major contributing factor with anxiety and insomnia.