Stress can be described as a state of mental, physical or psychological strain caused by adverse or demanding circumstances. High stress levels are connected with excessive levels of the hormone cortisol, which may cause negative mental and physical outcomes. In “The Cortisol Connection,” Shawn Talbot explains how pressure (“what you feel when life’s demands exceed your capacity to fulfill those requirements”) can lead to blood levels of cortisol to grow too.
Unless amounts of the hormone are brought under control, there’s not much point in exercising or dieting to avoid weight gain and disease. The book describes ways of decreasing cortisol to levels compatible with exceptional health. Stress is your body’s way of reacting to threat. The experience of anxiety or a perceived threat to security, standing, or well-being activates the release of a complex hormonal blend into the blood, which switches the body into’fight or flight’ mode. Stress symptoms include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, digestion issues and depression.
Additionally, excessive stress quenches the immune system, increasing exposure to infection; and shuts down the mind, resulting in difficulty concentrating and to inadequate decision-making. Cortisol is one of the most significant stress-related hormones, acting on the brain to control mood, motivation and anxiety. At normal levels, it exerts beneficial effects, but when levels become too high it may cause unhealthy weight gain, higher blood pressure and immune system deficiencies.
It does and can play a positive role in everyday life. In moderate amounts, it regulates alertness, activity and relaxation levels, The daily act of waking up from sleep is followed by a increase in cortisol levels to offer energy for the needs of daily, while another increase in the late afternoon offers second wind. Short-term surges in cortisol levels also occur in response to experiences perceived as exciting and enjoyable, such as rock-climbing in adults or the expectation of birthday gifts in children.
A boost in brainpower is the main reason a lot of individuals work better under pressure, which also promotes resilience and, at least briefly, increases immunity to pathogens. The causes of chronic (continuing ) stress are diverse and extremely individual: one individual’s stressor could be another’s relaxant. However, some fairly universal causes of negative stress are bereavement, unemployment and sleep deprivation.
A chronically stressed body generates higher cortisol levels than normal, which adds the issue of obese to life’s other burdens. Furthermore, the fat obtained with cortisol-induced pressure tends to accumulate around the abdomen, and is connected with the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. But it doesn’t end there: cortisol secretion increases with age, explaining why most men and women grow fatter with all the years, and why people who have high anxiety levels are less able to get rid of weight than relatively unstressed people, even when exercising.
To cap it all, excessive levels of cortisol can’t just lead to disease and accelerate aging but may also act on the brain right, increasing forgetfulness and accelerating the development of ailments like Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, the best chance of combating weight gain and health problems seems to lie in minimising or, better still, eliminating anxiety triggers which cause the immoderate cortisol raises in the first location. It turns out that the negative effects of chronic stress can be reversed (even in people almost 100 years old) via stress-lowering clinics, regular exercise and optimum nutrition.
In a perfect world, everybody would sleep at least eight hours each night, have just a brief work commute, spend a maximum of seven hours every day working and have tons of free time. For people who reside in the real world, but the author provides this book as a manual for navigating successfully through stressful situations into a continuous state of good health. That plenty of research went into the creation of the publication is evidenced by the extent and range of its references, including 15 books and nearly 300 journal article citations present at the time of book – a helpful compendium in its own right.
There are chapters devoted to supplements that produce an assortment of effects: anxiety adaptation, cortisol control, metabolism and comfort. Common dietary supplements to prevent are also recorded, with clear explanations of the negative long-term consequences. The appendix comprises daily food programs, and an extensive bibliography. It’s unfortunate, however, the writer lays more emphasis on the use of nutritional supplements than on those of nourishment and exercise.
One difficulty with food supplementation is its deviation from nature: food is supposed to be consumed in its natural milieu, in which the many nutrients can interact in ways best fitted for great health. An orange, as an instance, provides about 70 mg of vitamin C, but this vitamin is embedded in a matrix of fiber which can help maintain bowel health, and also contains vitamin A, some B vitamins, and the minerals magnesium and calcium – using a little dose of energy (about 50 calories) to boot. The typical vitamin C supplement gives an overwhelming excess (usually 1000 mg) of the vitamin; no fiber; and an assortment of fillers, sweeteners, binders and other potentially harmful additives. Many studies, such as a recent randomised controlled trial, have shown that positive changes in diet can effectively enhance mental health even in cases of clinically diagnosed depression.
When routine exercise is added to the dietary adjustments, results are much more spectacular. It’s well known that good health is achievable through eating right, exercising and stressing less. The Cortisol Connection describes ways of fine-tuning mental in addition to physical health by lowering cortisol levels. Written in language accessible to the layperson, it documents numerous instances of positive results from cortisol-lowering nutritional supplements. Studies continue to show that the majority of people can reduce cortisol and stress levels efficiently by consuming food of the perfect type and in the appropriate amounts, without breaking the bank. Still, in these times of greater vulnerability and uncertainty over work, family and social interactions, this book may provide useful guidance on handling any attendant stress.