The Effects of Stress on the Brain

Life and stress can feel like a package deal but some people are more susceptible to stress than others. The same crisis can cause some to grow and others to break and become sick with illnesses such as depression.

Researchers have shed the light on why.

The answer lies in our genes. The response to stress is determined by a complex interaction between versions of the depression gene and the environment.

The research, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, has found that stressful life events interact with certain genes to change the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that processes emotions and transfers new information into long-term memories. An effectively functioning hippocampus is critical for learning. Continue reading

How Stress Affects Your Body, From Your Brain to Your Digestive System

2018 has come to an end. How have you dealt with YOUR stress this past year. What can you do to improve on your situation in 2019? The following is the first part of an ongoing consideration dealing with a major cause of poor health and illness. ~ Ed.

It’s one thing to feel occasional stress. But when you’re constantly under pressure and have no way to cope, your risk of developing serious illness climbs. Here’s what you need to know about the long-term effects of living a stressed-out life.

Chronic stress can increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease, as well as depresson and anxiety.

If you’ve ever felt stressed out (and who hasn’t?), you already know that being under pressure can affect your body, either by causing a headache, muscle tightness, or flutters in your chest; making you feel down in the dumps; or leaving you ravenous for chocolate or robbed of all appetite. Continue reading

Chopra: Stress and the Brain

The human body responds to stress with a powerful fight-or-flight reaction. Hormone surge through the body, causing the heart to pump faster and sending extra supplies of energy into the bloodstream. For much of human history, this emergency response system was useful: It enabled people to survive immediate physical threats, like an attack from a wild animal. But today, the stress in most people’s lives comes from the more psychological and seemingly endless pressures of modern life. Daily challenges like a long commute or a difficult boss can turn on the stress hormones — and because these conditions don’t go away, the hormones don’t shut off. Instead of helping you survive, this kind of stress response can actually make you sick. Continue reading

Need A Break, 8 Warning Signs That You Are Emotionally And Mentally Exhausted

NOTE: Of these past few months, I fully understand the meaning of the following. ~ Ed.

Sometimes life starts to spin out of control and it’s tough for us to keep up. Things that once seemed insignificant are suddenly annoying and we find ourselves snapping at others even when they’ve done nothing wrong. This may be a result of mental and emotional exhaustion, and identifying the key warning signs may help you decide if you need to stop, rest, and recharge.

Keep reading to find out if you’re suffering from a burnout! Continue reading

Updated ~ Dr. V.: 7 ways that stress affects cancer growth

Stress is not a friend to any individual who is on a healing journey with breast cancer. I have written about the connection between, immune impairment and tumor growth on many occasions and so have hundreds of other experts during the last decade.

A study published in September 2015, however, presents a fascinating take on the subject. The joint team, which included both medical and psychological researchers from UCLA, the University of Texas, The University of Iowa and the United States National Cancer Institute, analyzed data which explains how the nervous system, and in particular the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), plays a major part in tumor metastasis when the body is under chronic stress. Continue reading

Dr. V.: Is Your Work Stress Increasing Your Breast Cancer Risk?

The matador is in a very high stress job situation and says to his doctor, "I've been feeling a lot of work related stress".

Not much media attention has been given to work-related stress even though it has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. It is one of the biggest stressors we have, however, and can lead to many dis-eases, including cancer.

The Trickle-Down Response of Stress
breast_testChronic stress does its damage mainly through the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands through signals from the hypothalamus and pituitary (the H-P-A axis).  Cortisol levels “spike” when the brain perceives a threat to the body (whether that threat is real or imagined). By kicking in the “fight or flight” response, the brain literally “turns off” many functions of the immune system in order to send energy where it is needed in the moment for survival. After all, what is the point of producing white blood cells when you are being chased by a lion?
Continue reading

Mobile Devices Are Causing, Stress, Anxiety At Home

Setting boundaries with phones to alleviate stress, anxiety (ultimately)

parents-kids-smart-phonesSmartphones and tablets are replacing face-to-face interactions, and families are suffering because of it, a new study says.

According to lead study author Dr. Jenny Radesky, assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School, incoming communications from work, friends, and the world at large is “contaminating” family mealtime, bedtime, and playtime. Whether you agree with the term ‘contamination’ or not, I think we can all agree these times are changing due to these technological devices. Continue reading

How STRESS turns cancer DEADLY

Chronic stress ‘opens up new routes for the disease to spread quickly through the bloodstream’

Chronic stress speeds up the spread of cancer cells, according to scientists. That's because stress helps build lymphatic 'highways' that allow cancer cells to move around more freely

Chronic stress speeds up the spread of cancer cells, according to scientists. That’s because stress helps build lymphatic ‘highways’ that allow cancer cells to move around more freely

Chronic stress accelerates the spread of cancer, scientists have revealed.
A new study found that stress builds lymphatic ‘highways’ that allow cancer cells to move around the body faster.

The lymphatic system normally transports immune cells throughout the body to fight illness.

But, scientists from Monash University in Melbourne discovered that it plays a role in carrying cancer cells, as well. Continue reading

Hypothyroidism: Sleepy, Stressed, or Sick?

Why thyroid diseases are so common—and still so mysterious

leadWhen I first suspected I was suffering from hypothyroidism, I did what any anxious, Internet-connected person would do and Googled “dysfunctional thyroid symptoms,” and, in another tab, “hypothyroid thinning hair??” for good measure.

What came up sounded like someone describing me for an intimately detailed police sketch: Continue reading