Whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological, we all experience stress on a regular basis. Stress is defined by Oxford Languages as, “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”
In this post we’re discussing the effects stress itself can have on our bodies and how they can lead to a shorter, less healthy life. It’s important to recognize the ways we experience and deal with stress in our daily lives because excessive stress can contribute to long term health issues. We’ll also briefly discuss how hormone replacement can be beneficial to our bodies’ ability to handle stress inducing situations.
The Physical Effects of Stress
You have, no doubt, felt the physical effects of stress countless times. Many of us carry tension in our backs and shoulders - if you’ve ever gotten a professional massage they’ve likely mentioned this to you as they attempted to tackle your hard earned knots. Actually, there are a plethora of stress induced symptoms we deal with.
Physical symptoms of stress include (via Hedy Marks, WedMD):
Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
Aches, pains, and tense muscles
Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
Frequent colds and infections
Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
The Psychological Effects of Stress
You were probably already aware of many of the physical, but what about the psychological effects stress has on us? Does stress penetrate our psyche? Short answer: Yes. Stress can cause our mental state to deteriorate, if not addressed or mitigated.
For instance, stress has been directly linked to:
Low self esteem
Loss of sexual desire
All of these things contribute to lower mental health, in turn leading to less healthy decision making and habit forming, which can quickly turn into a negative feedback loop. Again, it’s important to recognize these symptoms, the stressors that cause them, and the ways in which we cope with them. If the goal is to live a happier, healthier, longer life, healthy stress management is a vital part of that journey.
How Can Hormone Therapy Help With Stress?
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, specifically #testosterone, has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help prevent unnecessary stress responses and help recovery afterwards. We also experience less physical and psychological stress when our hormones are optimized because our bodies have more communicators, more energy, and more strength to manage our mental and emotional states.
Our bodies are highly susceptible to feedback loops.
By that I mean we often react to stress by indulging in habits or behaviors that ultimately lead to higher levels of stress, completing and perpetuating the loop. It’s important, regardless of whether or not you pursue hormone replacement therapy, to take note of our coping mechanisms. Some of the most impactful changes we can make take place in the gym, kitchen, and our habits.
Treating stress both physically and medically involves a multifaceted approach that addresses the underlying causes and symptoms of stress. Physically, adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help manage stress, such as engaging in regular exercise, practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, ensuring adequate sleep, and maintaining a balanced diet. These measures can promote overall well-being and resilience to stress. However, in certain cases where chronic stress persists and significantly impacts a person's quality of life, medical intervention, including hormone therapy, may be considered. Hormone therapy aims to restore hormonal balance in the body and regulate stress response. Under the guidance of a healthcare professional, specific hormone treatments, such as cortisol-reducing medications, may be prescribed to help regulate cortisol levels and alleviate stress-related symptoms. It is important to note that hormone therapy for stress is not a one-size-fits-all approach and should be carefully evaluated and monitored by a qualified healthcare provider to ensure its appropriateness and safety for each individual.
So How Do I Get Started?
If you’re interested in BHRT, be sure to find a provider who specializes and prescribes only bioidentical hormones. Also make sure to find a provider you can trust! The right Hormone Health Specialist will work to balance and optimize your hormones, not just replace them.
At Gershon Preventative Medicine, in Virginia Beach, VA takes a proactive and personal approach to health! Schedule a consultation and get the information and resources you need to unlock the secrets to better health!