Emotions can make you sick

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Discussing the physical impact of emotional changes

Our discussion today is based on a book by Dr. Don Colbert, M.D. entitled: Deadly Emotions: Understand the Mind Body Spirit Connection That Can Heal or Destroy You. We will explain the connection between physical illness with stress and emotional pain.

In my practice I see patients who are aging and who want to treat their symptoms of aging and prevent the diseases that make the last half of our lives enjoyable and productive. In almost every patient I see their history involves various levels of chronic stress…. Daily stress that eats at your mind and body for long periods of times. These include marital difficulties, ill parent, difficulties with children and the workplace and various stresses that sap our energy. We feel that energy loss and anxiety and my patients can name the times they experience these stresses which can easily be tied to early hormone losses of Testosterone and estrogen. These hormone deficiencies is what we treat initially at BioBalance Health.

The deadly emotions that patients endure as a part of modern life negatively affect our hormones but also impair our immune system, break down our connective tissue and damage our joints, lead to collection of cholesterol on our vessels that cause heart disease, and hamper our ability to kill cancer cells. Obviously, we cannot avoid the stresses of life, so the key to maintain your health is to learn to manage our emotions and to develop strategies to deal with stress.

For example my journey through private practice in OBGYN was stressful from a sleep perspective, working 24 hours a day every third day, but I also was part of three different medical practices before I started Balanced Care for Women, that had severe problems with business management which added  additional stress to my life. I finally learned I had to start every day with the mantra, “Nothing is going to happen today that will damage my health, my family, or the people I love. Everything else is just noise.”

This got me through terrible stress by realizing that the fears that I had were about things that possibly would happen and were not immediately real. That was a method that worked for me, but there are other methods like coming home to punch a punching bag in your garage or running several miles every day. These are all excellent methods of stress relief that can save you from future illness.

But Dr. Colbert’s book describes the path of how emotion turns into physical changes in our body that leads to illness.

Here is an overview of how chronic stress affects our bodies:

  1. Stress causes our brain chemicals to change and concentrate on the stress itself and leave all the other functions in the background.
  2. The brain changes increase ACTH from the pituitary, which increases Cortisol and adrenalin production from the adrenal gland which spreads throughout the body.
  3. Cortisol impairs our ability to fight cancer, to heal, to think, fight infection and increase our blood sugar, increases fat deposits and when long term, can cause atherosclerosis and heart disease.
  4. Adrenalin from the adrenal causes anxiety, fast heart rate, the feeling of anxiety and fear.
  5. These hormones go to the brain and body and work on a cellular level to make us sick.

Dr. Colbert quotes a researcher of stress as it relates to health, Dr. Candace Pert, who describes the chemicals in the brain called neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are pieces of proteins that communicate the stress in our lives to the cells of our brain. Neurotransmitters act like keys that fit into the locks of every cell in the body. When these neuropeptides reach the locks, they communicate stress as a chemical messenger to our cells. Each cell acts differently but all change the jobs they do into a survival mode that protects us from dying, but they do not keep us healthy.

This system is very useful when trying to be chased by a tiger or if you accidentally step in front of a bus: your body goes into overdrive to make you run faster with greater strength than usual at the cost of muscle mass and balance in the body. Unfortunately, in modern times these short periods of stress turn into long term sieges that keep us in this emergency mode, and the outcome is sickness.

Dr. Colbert says that there are over 1400 known physical and chemical stressors that activate more than thirty different hormones and neurotransmitters.

Listen to this weeks’ podcast for our take on what Dr. Colbert is presenting in his book.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.

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