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Health news:
 
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?
 

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution

 

December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects

 

November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet

 

October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women

 

September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?

 

August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?

 

July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives

 

June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's

 

May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo
 

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure
 

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains

NEWS ARCHIVE
2009
2008
2007

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January 2007

Psychological stress and health

A well researched, informative article about psychological stress by Christine Gorman in Time Magazine brings some important facts of its biological mechanism and effects on health. Among its main points are:

the importance of regular daily relaxing breaks (friends, family, exercise, meditation) in alleviating long-term harmful health effects of stress,

direct relation between self-esteem and the level of stressful response,

other psychological traps that often intensify stress by obscuring escape routes, or realistically possible ways of handling potentially stressful situations ("learned hopelessness"), and

the longer stress is neglected, the more difficult it becomes to bring it under control.

Exposure to stress profoundly changes body's mode of function: it is switched by stress hormones to fight-or-flight state, at a price of burdening cardiovascular system on one, and suppressing vital functions like digestion, immune and detox on the other side. This is why longer-term exposure to stress - or even a single intense psychological trauma - can result in serious health problems, more so if combined with genetic vulnerability, unhealthy lifestyle, and/or nutritional deficiencies.

The subject of stress is rather complex, and something always can be added. For instance, as stress-prevention tool, a bit of planning and organizing in both, professional and personal life, can significantly reduce your daily stress level.

Another key factor which mainly depends on you is nutrition. It can greatly affect, positively or negatively, all of the above: your anxiety level, your ability to relax, your self-esteem and, inevitably, how difficult it is for you to manage stress.

On one hand, the body needs sufficient supply of nutrients needed for proper function of the nervous system - such as vitamin B complex - as well as those - like vitamin C - that are are used up by the body at a significantly higher rate when under stress. If they are low, the body - and you - will suffer.

On the other, certain substances found in foods can directly increase anxiety level and make you more vulnerable to stress and its harmful consequences to health.

 Among the most notorious, caffeine, a widely consumed bio-active amine, is well known for inducing anxiety states, which can escalate to a panic attack. Individual sensitivity vary significantly, but hardly anyone knows her or his personal limit. Thus, moderation is advisable.

Another source of anxiety can be hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can many causes, including overuse of sugars and refined carbohydrates, or plain skipping a meal. Contrary to the popular belief, alcohol is also shown to actually increase anxiety level.

If your main stress-regulating glands - adrenals - are exhausted (by long or frequent exposure to stress, undernourishment, or both), they won't function well, and you may end up with chronic stress due to "blunted cortisol levels". So

make sure the adrenals get what they need

(particularly vitamin C, B5, B6, magnesium and zinc). Maintaining proper potassium-sodium ratio is also critically important for the proper adrenals function7.

The worst offender is anything that habitually raises your anxiety level. Such habit can be acquired as early as at toddler's age, carrying on to early childhood and adolescence. At this age, another potent factor, food additives (colors, flavors, preservatives), can and does change cause hyperactivity and other perceptional/behavioral changes in sensitive individuals. The consequences

can be life-long,

stemming from negative self-esteem built upon these early years' experiences (asocial behavior, rejection, isolation, attention deficit, lower grades, development of bad habits - smoking, drinking, drugs - in an attempt to cope with it, etc.)4.

Don't think that stress is something you should be concerned about? Think again. It may not look like it, but if you take a closer look, you may found out it is shaping up your life. We may not acknowledge it to ourselves, but it is the powerful modifier of a lifestyle, nevertheless. If you tend to:

- overeat and/or eat constantly

- have emotional outbursts

- develop addiction-like habits (gaming, drinking, smoking, watching TV,
surfing the Net)

- be doing something at all times (workaholic)

- be passive, even when things need to be done, etc.

it all can be - and often times is - your way of coping with stress that you are facing. It can be relatively harmless, but can also very negatively affect the quality of your life.

Stress levels you are exposed to are definitely something to pay attention to, and try to minimize as much as possible. Health consequences of the excessive, or prolonged exposure to stress can be very serious, not the least being it stealing from you the joy of life. Not seldom, we are not even aware of the degree of stress we're exposed to. We simply accept it, as "normal" - but it may not be not so.

A few simple, thoughtful changes in your lifestyle may be all that you need to significantly reduce level of stress you are exposed to, and keep it there. R

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