Life Event, Stress and Illness

Life Event, Stress and Illness

Here is a nice little article about just how significant stress can be in our lives and the impact on our health if we do not by choice make changes to bring balance into our lives. It is up to us to be accountable to and responsible for our health; as best we can.

I am here to support your journey from ill to well. 
To read more, click here: Life Event, Stress and Illness

Abstract

The relationship between stress and illness is complex. The susceptibility to stress varies from person to person. Among the factors that influenced the susceptibility to stress are genetic vulnerability, coping style, type of personality and social support. Not all stress has negative effect. Studies have shown that short-term stress boosted the immune system, but chronic stress has a significant effect on the immune system that ultimately manifest an illness. It raises catecholamine and suppressor T cells levels, which suppress the immune system. This suppression, in turn raises the risk of viral infection. Stress also leads to the release of histamine, which can trigger severe broncho-constriction in asthmatics. Stress increases the risk for diabetes mellitus, especially in overweight individuals, since psychological stress alters insulin needs. Stress also alters the acid concentration in the stomach, which can lead to peptic ulcers, stress ulcers or ulcerative colitis. Chronic stress can also lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis), especially if combined with a high-fat diet and sedentary living. The correlation between stressful life events and psychiatric illness is stronger than the correlation with medical or physical illness. The relationship of stress with psychiatric illness is strongest in neuroses, which is followed by depression and schizophrenia. There is no scientific evidence of a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the immune system changes and the development of cancer. However, recent studies found a link between stress, tumour development and suppression of natural killer (NK) cells, which is actively involved in preventing metastasis and destroying small metastases.


The relationship between stress and illness is complex. The susceptibility to stress varies from person to person. An event that causes an illness in a person may not cause illness in other person. Events must interact with a wide variety of background factors to manifest as an illness. Among the factors that influenced the susceptibility to stress are genetic vulnerability, coping style, type of personality and social support. When we are confronted with a problem, we assess the seriousness of the problem and determine whether or not we have the resources necessary to cope with problem. If we believe that the problem is serious and do not have the resources necessary to cope with the problem, we will perceive ourselves as being under stress (2). It is our way of reacting to the situations that makes a difference in our susceptibility to illness and our overall well-being.

Not all stress has negative effect. When the body tolerates stress and uses it to overcome lethargy or enhance performance, the stress is positive, healthy and challenging. Hans Selye (3), one of the pioneers of the modern study of stress, termed this eustress. Stress is positive when it forces us to adapt and thus to increase the strength of our adaptation mechanisms, warns us that we are not coping well and that a lifestyle change is warranted if we are to maintain optimal health. This action-enhancing stress gives the athlete the competitive edge and the public speaker the enthusiasm to project optimally. Stress is negative when it exceeds our ability to cope, fatigues body systems and causes behavioral or physical problems. This harmful stress is called distress. Distress produces overreaction, confusion, poor concentration and performance anxiety and usually results in sub par performance.

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Illness is a real thing; but never lose hope that the body will not heal; it will when given the correct support and love.

Healing stress and how this impacts the body is often about learning new skills, new lifestyle strategies and new ways to nourish our whole being.

Love,
Andrea

Impact of Childhood Trauma and Stressors in Pain Disorders and Adult Health

This is a recent article from the Townsend Letters that is worth a read:

Impact of Childhood Trauma and Stressors in Pain Disorders and Adult Health

Traumatic experiences and stressors in childhood have historically been overlooked as predisposing factors in the development of various chronic pain disorders and psychiatric conditions, including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome. However, the tide is turning as research is revealing a significant correlation between childhood trauma and adult health. Childhood trauma can cause cumulative damage and foster the biological embedding of adversities (via epigenetics) during developmental stages – both of which have been proposed mechanisms for the development of various adult physical and mental conditions.

click here to read on: Impact of Childhood Trauma and Stressors in Pain Disorders and Adult Health

Motivation

I am a big believer in the power of repeated nudges to keep you on the path of personal growth.

Growth to me is about becoming silently stronger,
Facing fears and conquering challenges,
and doing that something more every day.

It’s about moving forwards with curiosity, passion, and a sense of something more.
Letting go of what surrounds us in the quest to find what is within us.
It’s about letting go of expectations and grabbing on to experiences.
Becoming more, living more, fueling the fire more.

Why? Because it feels good; because it feels right;
because it feels alive.

The more we grow, the more we can give.
The more we give; the more we feel a part of the world that surrounds us.

That is what personal growth means to me; it is my responsibility in certain ways, to all that I am a part of.
Its how I wish to show up in life…..always striving to be everything that I can be.

I do many things along my journey to grow. I believe we all have different ways to grow and learn, and that finding these ‘tools’ for ourselves is as much a part of our growth, if not more, than learning from others. But often to start; we need the nudge and first steps from others.

I often plug into motivational clips while training on the bike, or in the bath, or getting changed for work, or in the car; it just gives me the oomph to get on with it!

Here are a few that I have liked lately:

If short on time start on about 6 mins on the next one. Honestly though, it’s worth making time to listen to positivity when our world around it tries to steal it at every chance. Training, driving, commuting, breakfast….make a positive change to your mind-set.

Motivation patience momentum

Finally this one was another I liked

get on YouTube and explore!

Love ya’all.

Andrea

That’s me; facing a fear. Racing with people around me when I get so anxious. But it’s worth it!

 

Super chicken recipe for the slow-cooker

Hi folks,

I am planning on attacking this recipe tomorrow so sharing on.

Bake a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

We don’t eat chicken often in our house given the difficulty sourcing genuinely organic and free-range chicken. We also buy duck eggs by preference.

But tomorrow we have a chicken! I will probably pull the chicken apart and serve with a large salad.

Love,

Andrea

PS Here is more about regulations and definitions for organic and free-range in Ireland.

And here: ORGANIC OR FREE RANGE – IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

ketogenic diet for endurance athletes??

I have many many opinions on ketogenic diets for ironman and endurance athletes. I will expand this blog at some point with all the why’s about how I believe there is a better way to become your optimal in health and performance without having to go the full keto.

We call the approach I recommend metabolic efficiencyTM (ME), and it incorporates nutritional periodisation of carbohydrates and an overall lower but not no carbohydrate intake while slotting this into the principles of healthy eating for an athlete and taking their training, racing and individual response into account. Its is all about efficiency, fat adaptation, strength AND performance at high intensities. Not just about efficiency in the lower aerobic zones.

I believe this (ME) works without having to go and do the full keto, the latest extreme after high protein, low carb, low-fat and so on and on.

But hey, athletes like extreme and plough straight in before asking questions. Ask yourself this; do you know any ironman podium finishers doing keto diets? I don’t.

We don’t know all the facts about keto, we don’t know the impact on hormones, the adrenals, the incidence of fatigue in high volume training athletes, or how high intensity performance might be affected, or immune cell function in high volume training athletes, or the impact on anabolic processes for example is keto the best strategy for big gear big work on the bike, or strength and hill running sets? I don’t take risks for my athletes when I already have a strategy that works to not only enhance fat adaptation but also encourage strength, power and speed.

No one has compared a healthy periodised nutrition approach (like Metabolically Efficient eating) to a keto approach. Each has only ever been compared to a carbohydrate containing processed food containing diet (which isn’t that healthy and so you are normally going to see a response). Until I have seen a straight head to head I wont be shifting from the more balanced approach.

And FYI most keto diets show reduced power; not what you want either.

However, if you did want a good article to consume, this is good. Is it technically perfect? No. Do they make big claims? Yes. And is it a little one-sided? Yes. Can you achieve what they claim and more without going keto? Yes. But every diet is going to be promoted this way so don’t hold it against keto. For many athletes with genuine pre-diabetic or blood sugar/ insulin problems or metabolic issues like cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome or polycystic ovaries keto may actually be recommended; diet is never a one size fits all. It is about finding what works and generally extreme measure are only needed for extreme cases.

This article is also technically more accurate than others so knock yourself out.

The ironman guide to ketosis

Andrea 🙂

Food and Activity Diaries – How useful are they?

Kona ironman nutrition

I ask all my clients and athletes to complete a food, training and well-being diary for me. Why? For many reasons and mostly the following:

Remember, my end goal is to help you eat a more balanced diet, richer in nutrition, focused on REAL foods, reduced in food choices devoid of nutrition, that meets your training requirements and assists the achievement of each training sessions goals while also bringing you naturally to optimal training and racing weight. A diet that enables an athlete to be fit and healthy, free from illness and less prone to injury while supporting intense training, strong competition performance and swifty recovery all the while embracing a healthy relationship to food and with your body….. all done with no need for extreme measure, extreme finance or extreme cooking skills!

So why do I ask you to complete a food and exercise diary?

  • I want to see what…

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Mercury, health and exposure

Hi folks,

I am not going to write a long post about mercury; here is an article from Townsend Letters about mercury: Mercury: The Quintessential Anti-Nutrient

Mercury is something that we see often in the clinic, and use laboratories in Germany to test a variety of samples such as hair, dental amalgam in saliva and also urine.

If you would like to know more about diagnosis, treatment and whether mercury may be affecting your health please do contact us.

Andrea