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Chronic stress and inflammation

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 13, 2012 at 9:28 AM

How would you combat a lifetime of chronic stress and the chronic inflammation that comes with it? How would you exercise when all your joints are already inflamed and overall recuperation is zero and only leads to even more inflammation? How would you learn to relax after being tense your entire childhood due to growing up in a hostile environment? How would you reprogram all those pretty basic things like respiration, digestion, posture, sleep, etc. after being screwed up by a lifetime of continuous stress?

What would you do?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on December 14, 2012
at 03:08 PM

Heavy weights could overwhelm that stress loop. I get hungrier now, though I haven't seen any weight gain on the scale yet, even though I seem to eat more. Just don't do a lot of workouts in one week. It is probably better to do just one or two a week, focus on lifting the heaviest weights you can safely, and then letting your body rest- adaptation mostly happens during the rest phase.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 13, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Definitely not overweight, on the contrary, I really want to gain weight but my food doesn't digest well due to all the havoc the chronic stress loop created and still creates. I can't seem to get out from it while being stressed costs me a lot of energy/vitamins/minerals I don't have anymore except from my own body.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 13, 2012
at 04:00 PM

That's a different program -- still good for stress reduction -- not so much reducing inflammation.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 13, 2012
at 03:48 PM

Thanks, I really see myself reflected in your situation and answer.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on December 13, 2012
at 03:10 PM

I always thought Step 1 was: "Cut a hole in that box . . ." :)

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on December 13, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Definitely agree with holding off on exercise. Don't even think about it until your body is in a better place nutritionally; then you can start experimenting with what helps and what hurts.

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5 Answers

best answer

3
103a639b040a17bb579084287f2a5307

on December 13, 2012
at 04:06 PM

A low-stress, anti-inflammatory diet (lots of meat, veggies, fruit, tubers... Low in grains, legumes, seed oils and sugar).

During acute stress, be sure to get enough carbs (they kill the cortisol response). And be sure to get enough B vitamins and vitamin C. You could also try taking the amino acids GABA, taurine and valine.

Check out adrenal repair protocols. If you have been chronically stressed, they could be burned out.

Improve your posture and alignment with lots of stretching. Katysays.com is a great resource.

Learn to breathe through your nose (if you are a mouth breather) and to walk properly (most people actually fall forward with each step then catch themselves). Both are very stressful on the body and contribute to chronic stress.

Take care of the constant little irritants in your life. You don't need them hanging over your head. And take care of the big stuff too so that you can stop worrying about it.

Get a massage.

Include pleasure in every day: laugh, spend time with people you like/respect/trust/are inspired by, do something you find fun and enjoyable.

Start a gratitude journal.

Minimize your exposure to toxic environments (chemicals and people)

2
1f3df724cc6c16e9df4757f05bd8dc0f

on December 13, 2012
at 02:11 PM

Check out EFT... It would be a good place to start. Also start researching mindfulness.

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 13, 2012
at 12:29 PM

Step 1, get diet in check to reduce inflammation under control

Step 2,find out what helps you relax (yoga, reading, meditation, dirnking heavily, whatever)

Step 3, get you exercise under control

Step 4, accept that there are only a few things you can actually fix, don't stress the rest.

Step 5, rinse and repeat.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on December 13, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Definitely agree with holding off on exercise. Don't even think about it until your body is in a better place nutritionally; then you can start experimenting with what helps and what hurts.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 13, 2012
at 04:00 PM

That's a different program -- still good for stress reduction -- not so much reducing inflammation.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on December 13, 2012
at 03:10 PM

I always thought Step 1 was: "Cut a hole in that box . . ." :)

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on December 13, 2012
at 03:47 PM

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet (paleo is, especially if you keep the carbs lowish). You may want to supplement with krill oil. If you are currently overweight, don't exercise except perhaps a bit of lifting to maintain whatever muscle mass you have.

If you are not overweight and/or have already lost the weight, then more exercise could be helpful. My joints tend to hurt, but in my case this is what drove me to go to the gym. The only chance at long term healing and change is an improvement in body composition. I've done all I can with diet; now it is time to do as much as I can lifting heavy weights. Adaptation leads, in most cases, to improvement.

You can check your stress response throughout the day and consciously try to counteract it. If you notice your stomach is tensed, relax it. Raise your head up high. Art De Vany suggests we all walk around with our heads high enough to look down our cheekbones at people. Check your shoulder position too- we shouldn't be hunched forward. It sounds silly, it may even be silly, but it seems to work- though I am sure one of the reasons it works is because of the ground work already laid by the diet. I just can't feel too bad when the biochemistry is solid.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on December 14, 2012
at 03:08 PM

Heavy weights could overwhelm that stress loop. I get hungrier now, though I haven't seen any weight gain on the scale yet, even though I seem to eat more. Just don't do a lot of workouts in one week. It is probably better to do just one or two a week, focus on lifting the heaviest weights you can safely, and then letting your body rest- adaptation mostly happens during the rest phase.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 13, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Definitely not overweight, on the contrary, I really want to gain weight but my food doesn't digest well due to all the havoc the chronic stress loop created and still creates. I can't seem to get out from it while being stressed costs me a lot of energy/vitamins/minerals I don't have anymore except from my own body.

1
775bc83a7c54975e77a8500e065a24c3

on December 13, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Awareness is the beginning of change and I believe you are on the right path. I am an adult child of an alcoholic and I was raised in a stressful environment. Looking back, white flour and sugar were the first "drugs" I used to fix my feelings of loss, shame and fear. I realize today what I really crave is to feel safe and secure in my own skin. Until recently, my never ending pursuit to ease these negative emotional states ruined my health and nearly killed me. Recovery and restoring emotional, physical and spiritual health, I understand, are a life long journey that has to be taken quite literally One Day At A Time. These are a few of the things that have helped me; I eliminated gluten and refined sugar from my diet and adopted the principles of a paleo eating plan. I began counseling, joined a support group, and regularly had appointments with a chiropractor and massage therapist. Over time, I lost 70lbs. and my joints slowly became less inflamed which allowed for moderate exercise. The suggestions with regards to mindfulness meditation, EFT and relaxation techniques are excellent.
It is not always easy and I do have setbacks. The Holidays can be stressful. I am choosing to focus on the positive and what I can control while letting go of the rest. If it is not affecting my breath, how important is it? Best wishes to you and your quest for health!

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 13, 2012
at 03:48 PM

Thanks, I really see myself reflected in your situation and answer.

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