The body has an innate ability to respond to stress. Much like our ancestors who used the flight or fight response when hunting for food and surviving, we still have that same mechanism. However, the difference is that we are more chronically stressed than our ancestors. We can bounce back from acute stress quite easily (like getting to work on time in traffic), but when those stressors do not let up and they build up, our body tends to fatigue. The effects of prolonged stress can be very damaging to our bodies, causing chronic fatigue, hormone imbalance, GI upset like leaky gut and IBS and metabolic diseases like diabetes. For this reason, it is important to address stress and support the body with lifestyle changes and herbal supplements in order to avoid deleterious effects.
When your body senses stress, your brain signals your adrenals (located on top of your kidneys) to release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is what regulates your stress response, while also playing a role in regulating your reproductive hormones, metabolism, sleep cycle, etc. So when cortisol is dysregulated, so are many other correlated systems.
In order to support the body’s ability to respond and adapt, it is necessary to make some lifestyle changes, using sleep, diet and exercise first. Once your body is in a state of enough stress to cause imbalance and disease, supplementation with herbs and vitamins is very helpful.
Here are some of our favorite adaptogenic herbs, which help the body adapt to stress and fatigue. They are safe and effective and also have other beneficial effects on the body:
RHODIOLA is an herb that vikings used to use before pillaging to have energy, endurance and longevity for the long journey. It is an antioxidant that decreases high cortisol. It also supports the nervous system, immune system, energy and memory.
ASHWAGANDA has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with an affinity to the brain. It has been shown to be good for all weakness, exhaustion and deficiency conditions including reducing stress and regulating the immune system.
VALERIAN ROOT is known to be one of the most calming herbs to the nervous system. It is a sedative and beneficial for those with trouble sleeping and
GANDODEMA LUCIDUM (REISHI) primarily effects/supports the immune system. It has been shown to prevent allergies and infection while also acting as an anti-inflammatory and it improves
Chronic stress in life is common, but is not normal. It is so important that you address your stressors in order to avoid adverse events in the future.
Dr. Alioto is a naturopathic medical doctor who specializes in pediatrics, young adults, naturopathic oncology, digestive complaints and hormone imbalances. Contact Dr. Alioto at Regenerate Health Medical Center to set up a risk free Discovery Call to learn more and see if you or a friend qualifies for these life changing options. Call 805-620-7122 to get started!