How Stress Impacts Your Health
How Does Stress Impact Your Health?
What is it about stress that impacts our health in such a silent yet detrimental way?
Knowing our bodies better can help in putting the pieces together, so let’s dive into some biology and science.
You have 2 glands that sit on top of your kidneys like little pyramids. These are your Adrenal Glands.
Your adrenals make: Cortisol Epinephrine Norepinephrine Aldosterone Sex hormones: Testosterone, Progesterone, and Estrogen.
For now, let’s focus on the hormones directly related to stress.
Cortisol is a hormone that impacts every organ in the body. It helps to regulate stress, blood sugar, and blood pressure. It plays an important role in metabolism and your sleep-wake cycles. Cortisol also suppresses inflammation and pain.
When the sun begins to rise, our eyes sense the increase in light and this triggers cortisol production. Because of this, cortisol is highest in the morning and tells us to wake up. When we are frightened or under a lot of stress, our adrenals will make more cortisol along with epinephrine and norepinephrine to help us survive.
The body responds the same way if you are running from a bear, lost in the woods with a broken ankle, or burning the midnight oil trying to meet that do-or-die deadline. I think I just gave new meaning to the term “deadline.”