Stress is brought about by any form of physical or emotional stress on the body or mind.
Physical stress occurs when a change or a force acts on the body. Intense or cold heat, excessive work, wounds, malnutrition, exposure to poisons or drug use are examples of physical stress.
Emotional stress can result from fear, hatred, love, anger, tension, pain, joy, frustration and / or anxiety.
Physical and emotional stress can overlap, as in certain particular physical conditions such as pregnancy, adolescence and aging. During these periods the body’s metabolism is increased or decreased, affecting the body’s physical functions, which, in turn, affect the person’s psychological and emotional state.
A certain amount of stress is useful as a motivating factor (eustress), but when it occurs in excess or for wrong reasons, the effect can be harmful (distress).
The body’s metabolic reaction to both emotional stress and physical stress is the production of adrenaline, secreted by the adrenal glands. When released into the blood, this hormone prepares the body for action by increasing blood pressure and heartbeat and providing additional energy.
These reactions of the organism are useful when physical action is necessary, but in our modern civilization the reactions are necessarily contained and the body is forced to respond to stress by channeling the reactions within one of the organism’s systems, such as that digestive, circulatory or nervous system.
When this happens, the system reacts negatively and conditions such as ulcers, high blood pressure, back pain, arteriosclerosis, allergic reactions, asthma, fatigue and insomnia often develop.
Anxiety is responsible for the stress that affects many individuals. Anything that threatens a person’s body, his work, his loved ones, his values, can cause anxiety. If a person fails to deal with the situation, the body’s stress is increased, resulting in many of the stress-related disorders.
At this point a change in habits and lifestyle is needed to eliminate unnecessary tension and allow the body to resume normal functions.
The increase in adrenaline production that is manifested by stress increases the metabolism of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and instantly produces energy for immediate use by the body.
As a result of this increased metabolism there is also an increased excretion of proteins, potassium and phosphorus and a decrease in the calcium reserve.
Many stress-related disorders are not the direct result of the stress itself but the consequence of nutritional deficiencies caused by an increased metabolism rate during times of stress.
People who are under stress need to maintain a well-balanced nutritional diet, paying particular attention to the integration of those nutrients that can be damaged during stress.