• Sarah Breslin

The "Covid Stone", is it stress related?


This is an article written by a fellow Colonic therapist - Gillian Edwards - with many years of experience. I think it is important for right now and the times we are in to keep perspective on what is happening to our bodies with all the additional stress in society. Continuous low-level stress can be just as problematic as major event stress.

Have a read and remember to be good to yourselves.


Sarah

Helping you be your best self!

Maybe consider a colonic to help get you on track to make better lifestyle choices.



Why Stress Can Make You Fat? Gillian Edwards. Colon hydrotherapist and lover of red lipstick!


Many years ago, a young lady came to see me suffering from IBS symptoms and struggling to lose weight. It was very sad, she had had her head turned by a man and left her partner of many years. The new relationship didn’t work out and she was heartbroken. She had put a stone on in weight but hadn’t changed her diet or exercise regime. She couldn’t understand why she had put weight on and why she couldn’t lose it. So, how had all that stress made her put weight on?


I explained to her all about the fight and flight response. This is the body’s answer to dealing with stress and I’m going to explain it in quite a simple way which I hope you will understand. The short answer to it all is in the next paragraphs, but if you want to know more detail about how this mechanism works please read on for a more technical explanation! How does stress make you put on weight? Fat is the body’s energy store. In times of famine and low food stocks, your body uses fat to convert to energy. In our ‘civilised’ way of living, we would rarely, if ever have the need to use this mechanism, but it still works in the same way. If we eat too much for our body’s daily needs, the excess gets converted to fat. When we are busy, stressed or excited, the body reacts by secreting adrenaline and this sends messages that we need to get alert and busy and might also mean we will be short of food.


Your body doesn’t know the difference between happy excitement or dangerous excitement, it just knows adrenaline is being sent out and this means ‘get alert’. If this action happens now and again, everything settles back to normal very quickly but if the stress is ongoing even at low levels, it stimulates the body to convert some of our food into fat.

Metabolism can slow down to help this process which means we conserve energy, store fat and this is deposited in any areas of fatty tissue that we have. So for the lady in question, she was enduring an ongoing period of high stress and this stimulated the body to lower her metabolism and convert some of her normal food into fat. Once I explained it all to her, a lot of her worry diminished and within 4 weeks she had 3 colonic treatments to help her IBS symptoms and she lost 10lb in weight. That’s quite a dramatic result, but it’s not unusual for people to lose weight just by understanding what is going on, since the stress of not understanding what is happening to your body can make things worse.

Your metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy, (calories) you need to sustain your normal daily activities. For a more detailed explanation read on… The brain in your head does some amazing things. It is responsible for stimulating the central nervous system and spinal cord. It also contains the autonomic (or automatic) nervous system which does things for you like digesting food. This autonomic part of the nervous system controls the automatic body activities including gut and cardiac muscle, and the activities of glands.


It controls;

  • Rate and force of heartbeat

  • State of blood vessels

  • Movements of the gut

  • Secretions of glands

  • Contractions and relaxation of involuntary muscles

  • Reflexes

The autonomic nervous system is split into two parts. The sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. They normally work in an opposing manner. The majority of the organs of the body are supplied by both sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves which have opposite effects that are finely balanced to ensure optimum function of the organ. The sympathetic nervous system The sympathetic activity tends to predominate in stressful situations and parasympathetic activity during rest.


The sympathetic system prepares the body to deal with exciting and stressful situations by strengthening its defences in danger and in extremes of environmental temperature. The adrenal glands are stimulated to secrete the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline into the bloodstream. These hormones stimulate and sustain the effects of the sympathetic stimulation. This is known as the fight or flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system The parasympathetic activity takes place in non-stressful situations. It is parasympathetic nerves that tend to control functions such as digestion and urination.

Examples of the effects of autonomic stimulation by the sympathetic nervous system are;

• Increased heartbeat

• Increased blood pressure • Reduced digestive activity by constricting blood vessels • Secretion of adrenaline increased metabolic rate • Dilated pupils • Increased secretion of sweat

The parasympathetic system has the opposite effect

• Decreases heartbeat • Reduces blood pressure • Increases digestive activity by dilating blood vessels • Reduces adrenaline secretion • Constriction of pupils

Stress

The body reacts to stress first by releasing hormones including adrenaline, noradrenaline and glucocorticoid hormones, cortisol and cortisone. These hormones interacting with the autonomic nervous system play a primary role in the body's reactions to stress by balancing hormone releases. So now we have an understanding that digestion works at its best when we are relaxed. (parasympathetic).

It’s the biggest job your body does, so it wants to do it when nothing else is going on. A busy brain or physical activity means your digestive system becomes compromised as blood and energy are always diverted to brain or body activity since, in nature, this might mean you are in danger, so the digestive system will always defer to the needs of the busy, active (sympathetic) system. The way this happens is by the wonderful hormone adrenaline. Quicker than you can blink, as soon as your brain and body sense danger, adrenaline bursts into the bloodstream and stimulates the sympathetic system to get lively! Digestion is switched off and the blood is diverted to places that will help you to run or fight. Places like your heart, muscles and lungs. Part of this activity also regulates your blood pressure and your brain becomes much more active to process information more quickly.

Once the danger has been dealt with, your body returns to normal and digestion can restart. The problem with this is that if your stress doesn’t end quickly, you keep secreting adrenaline at lower levels for a long time and this stimulates your metabolism to slow down over a period of time and converts excess energy into fat which is then deposited in fat cells around the body. I hope you have found this article of interest and understandable. I have tried to make something very complex readable and give you an overview of why ongoing stress can make you put on weight.

To read more from Gillian check out her books





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