In an era characterized by global uncertainty and chronic stress, ensuring you are doing everything possible to support a healthy response to worry, anxiety and fear is a must.
Since the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a prime influencer of the physiological response to both short and long term stress, it is paramount that you are providing your mind and body what it needs in order to keep calm and balanced amongst the pervading storm.
When your stress response is failing
Whether it’s from a strained relationship, toxic burden, or self-imposed thoughts, chronic stress is not difficult to create. The adrenal axis is designed to respond, adapt to, and manage sporadic life stress; however, when compounded to a state of ongoing chronicity, an individual’s physiology will be unable to keep up. The HPA stress axis is the control centre for releasing the stress hormones (cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine) required to signal the body to adaptively respond to stress. In the presence of adrenal fatigue, burnout or exhaustion, this system becomes chronically depleted in precursors needed to function well. With ill health, from extreme fatigue and memory loss to physical pain and faulty immunity, the face of uncontrolled stress creates a one-way downward spiral.
Adaptogens to the rescue
In order to properly return the stress management system back into active balance, the body requires specific nutrients and natural products to replete it back to health. Below is a non-exhaustive list of a few key nutrients needed to get the job done.
Deficient magnesium has been shown to lead to a reduced stress response and contributes to anxiety, depression and fatigue. Supplying proper levels of magnesium can directly help modulate the HPA axis and reduce HPA dysregulation.
The adrenal glands contain one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in the body. Acute and chronic stress causes reduced levels of intra-adrenal vitamin C levels, whereas dosing the body with proper levels of vitamin C improves cortisol recovery and modulates the psychological stress response.
Pantothenic acid, also known as “the anti-stress vitamin”, helps regulate the production of cortisol when under chronic stress. B5 plays a critical role with CoQ10, which is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and stress hormones, which affect cognitive function, memory, and mood.
As an adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha safely and effectively improves stress resistance. As a balancer of cortisol release, this herb can directly influence how it is created, released, and functioning in response to stress.
This herb has been consistently shown to decrease cortisol release in the blood, giving the adrenal glands the opportunity to replenish its stores. For those experiencing stress induced fatigue, rhodiola has the ability to increase mental performance, concentration, and resilience to stress.
As an adrenal adaptogen, Siberian ginseng increases mental alertness and physical endurance. It inhibits the hyper functioning of the adrenal glands, reduces the extent of fight or flight, and modulates the exhaustive effects of long term stress.
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