New Beginnings Healthcare for Women
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Your Health Journey Stress - Less!

When I talk to people about stress, everyone can relate! Life. Death. Noise pollution. Marriage. Divorce. Job loss. Relationship issues. Cell phones. War. Gas Prices. Babysitter problems. Shrinking leisure time-and on and on...

People of all ages and walks of life have stories of their own personal experiences with stress. No living creature escapes stress! Even plants and animals are subject to stress.

What is Stress?

Stress is any condition that requires a living thing to adapt or change. Stressors are simply things that cause stress. None of us are strangers to stress, and like most human conditions, we all respond differently to various stressors. Some common examples of stressors might include: extreme temperature changes, environmental toxins, life changes, illness, emotional issues, infection, allergies, poor diet, lack of sleep, hormonal disruptions to name a few.

In other words there is no escaping stress. But that's not all bad. Historically, stress serves a purpose-survival! If you need to run from a wild animal, your life may depend on the ability of your body to initiate a stress reaction. This is known as the so-called "fight-or flight" response. More about this in a moment.

Less exciting, but just as important, especially in modern society, stress in healthy doses motivates us to do the things we need to do and can enhance performance. For example, if we need to get our tax papers in order by April 15, a little stress will help to ensure we get the task done on time. School children are motivated to do better when fueled by a little stress. Those in sports or other competitive endeavors benefit from some stress.

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How does your body respond to stress?

In the face of danger your body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones come from small glands that sit on top of the kidneys called adrenal glands.

In the face of a threat, our adrenals secrete epinephrine and other stress hormones. This is called an alarm reaction. This causes the blood flow to the heart, brain, lungs and muscles to increase as well as an increase in blood glucose to help to cope with what the demand.

Later, cortisol is released to maintain the changes initiated by the initial alarm reaction. Cortisol stimulates the conversion of protein to glucose; this in turn raises insulin levels. Fat is retained. Inflammation occurs. Additionally, sodium increases and blood pressure increases. Is it any surprise that diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are all related to stress?!

Prolonged stress can lead to adrenal dysfunction, decreased cortisol supply, fatigue and exhaustion.

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What are some of the symptoms of stress?

There are many physical and emotional symptoms in response to stress. Most common complaints I see in my practice are:

  • Loss of vitality
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Trouble loosing weight
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling "tried but wired"
  • Frequent infections
  • Increase in allergies
  • Menstrual irregularities and PMS

Many of these patients have tried numerous therapies, including anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants and still don't feel like themselves.

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What can be done to manage my Stress?

Fortunately, there is much you can do. Begin by making a commitment to yourself to do whatever it takes, because as you can see, stress can be serious business.

Make sure Enjoy life more, laugh and play! Nourish yourself with healthful foods, organic choices when possible to minimize toxin exposure, meditate or pray. Try yoga. Enjoy physical activity on most days.

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What if I'm still not well?

We can work together to get to the root causes of your symptoms. When indicated, I offer saliva cortisol testing. This is often extremely useful in identifying stress hormone imbalances. In this way, we can plan the patients management based on her own unique physiology. This technology is convenient-as the patient collects her samples at home, painless and accurate. NASA and the US Air Force use salivary cortisol testing to monitor stress in their pilots and astronauts. The bottom line-don't give up. Call today & make an appointment at 329-2273. Stress less and be well!

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Call Today! 570-329-CARE

Best of 2012 - Nurse Practitioners

"Rana is the most caring person..."
~ Mary B.

Contact Information
1017 Washington Blvd, Suite B
Williamsport, PA 17701
Phone: (570)-329-2273
info@newbeginningsforwomen.com
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