Since first joining PF I have noticed just how many people, including me, suffer strange illnesses and infections which seem to be related to their situation.
So, just as I had to research my dizzy spells, my stomach problems, my teeth infections and thus came across the word PSYCHOPATH, I have now done research on stress and depression and all those other wide and varied problems we have been having, and yes, it is due to stress! (many thanks to our Ps for that).
Then I began to research how best to deal with this stress, anxiety and associated ailments through diet and supplements.
As it has been said before, when our brain considers we are in a ‘fight or flight’ situation, for a very short time, that is fine. But when we are in a constant state of fight or flight, it gets more serious and is not good for our health; in fact it can have very serious consequences.
Being with a P (or the emotional trauma after) puts us in a constant state of nervous tension... This tension causes our bodies to produce cortisol. In itself cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and assists with the regulation of blood pressure, blood sugar levels and insulin, our immune system and response to inflammation. When we are in a fight or flight situation, the secretion of cortisol is increased, allowing the body to have a quick energy thrust for survival purposes, less sensitivity to pain, an immunity burst and sharpened memory function.
All well and good, but chronic stress (and let’s face it any P causes chronic stress!) our bodies remain in a state of high stress and cortisol is at a high, prolonged level in our blood and it ROBS our bodies of vitamins and nutrients. The effects of too much cortisol can have many effects on our bodies and minds, and many of the ailments I have seen here on PF.
Some examples are:
High blood pressure
Decrease in muscle tissue and or muscle weakness
Blood sugar imbalances
Lowered immunity - there’s all our infections and easily caught common ailments.
Increased abdominal fat – how many of us are suffering that one!
Stomach and digestive problems (pains, digestive problems, vomiting, IBS)
Anxiety, depression and irritability.
Bruising easily and not healing as fast (wounds)
Excessive growth of facial or body hair or unexplained hair loss
Aches and pains in the muscles and or bones
Menstrual cycle changes
Changes in sexual libido
So, to diet. I, whilst I lay on my sofa for several months ate nothing but white bread, chocolate, drank coffee. WORST THING I COULD HAVE DONE! (I was comfort eating and hardly bothered…). I drank occasionally, but not often as I know it can add to depression. But I am not going to beat myself up about it, I was literally paralised and in shock...
I have now decided it is time to try and control the cortisol in my body. So, onto the internet I go again…
Impatient as I am to heal, firstly I looked up what vitamins or minerals may help me. I do not actually like fruit that much, so Vitamin C is an important one for me. A low level of Vitamin C in your body during stress causes you to become tired easily, it also weakens your immune system. If you can get your Vitamin C from fruit and vegetables, all the better, me, I have brought a Vitamin C supplement which I take every morning, when cortisol levels are at their highest.
I have to admit I am a two cup of coffee each morning girl, I have changed that to one cup of coffee and one cup of black tea (green tea is even better) first thing. But you should try and avoid caffeine and too much sugar in all foods and drinks i.e. soda, sweets, chocolate, and foodstuffs with hidden sugar..
Then I studied my diet and have cut out, White breads, potatoes (except the odd baked one), as much sugar as possible, red meat, cheese and whole milk. I have added tuna, salmon and mackerel (when I can afford it). My veggies are now tomatoes, red, green or yellow peppers, carrots, broccoli and cabbage, sweet potato.
Whole foods, nuts, grains and fruit are great for stress and as many leafy vegetables as you can eat. Also low fat dairy and legumes. Oatmeal or whole grain cereal is a great breakfast, especially if taken with some fruit.Stress can thicken the blood, good foods for this are onion, garlic, peppermint and cinnamon.
I am taking Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B vitamin complex (very helpful with stress), Omega 3 & 6, Calcium and Magnesium and drinking more water (I hate water….)
I am NOT a natural born ‘healthy’ eater, nor am I a doctor, nurse or nutritionalist, this is a lay woman's research and there is plenty of information on the internet, including a complete cortisol connection diet for people to follow. If you are really worried about your cortisol levels, there are tests for it, speak to your doctor.
I usually do not like things that are good for me, but I am becoming more discerning about what I eat and trying to include as many ‘cortisol’ lowering foods and vitamins as possible. There are also many herbs and alternative supplements which you can check out, like magnolia bark, liquorice and many more.. Exercise, meditation etc., is recommended as it too lowers cortisol, but not excessive exercise so you become exhausted.
These are just my ideas, if you research cortisol, its effects on your body and foods that increase and decrease it, I think we can all make some small changes which may help us in our physical road to recovery *and possibly lose that belly!
Healing the Body After Abuse
When we are in a constant state of fight or flight, it gets more serious and is not good for our health; in fact it can have very serious consequences.
Article Author: monicajane