“A state manifested by a specific syndrome which consists of all the non specifically induced changes within a biological term” by Dr Hans Selye.
The term implies any condition that harms the body or damages or causes the death of a few or more cells. The body immediately tries to repair the damaged cells but it can do so only if the diet is inadequate, providing a generous supply of all the essential nutrients. If, however, rebuilding of cells is not able to keep pace with destruction, the condition will result in disease.
The most common diseases associated with STRESS are: Heart Disease, Peptic Ulcer, Ulcerative colitis, Diabetes, Head Ache, Sexual Disorders.
A number of physical changes take place at the time of stress Induced arousal. The brain and nervous system becomes intensively active, the pupils of the eye dilate, digestion slow down , muscles becomes tense , the heart starts pumping blood harder and faster , blood pressure increases , breathing becomes faster ,hormones such as adrenaline are released into the system along with glucose from the liver and sweating starts.
All these changes take place in a split second under the direction of the nervous system. If the stress factors are immediately removed all the changes are reversed.
Stress in its earlier and reversible stage leads to poor sleep, bad temper, continual grumbling, longer hours of work with less achievement, domestic conflict with wife and children, repeated minor sickness, feeling of frustration and complaints of lack of cooperation and increase in alcoholic intake. It is essential that these symptoms are recognized early .If however stress is continued frequently ,a variety of symptoms appear such as dizziness, stiff muscles , headache, vision problems ,asthma, allergies, palpitations, digestive disorders, blood sugar irregularities, backache, skin disorders, bowel disorders, sexual difficulties.
In dealing with stress, the life style of the patient needs complete overhaul.
One should be placed on proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest.
If this is done many diseases caused by stress can be eliminated.
Diet plays an important role in the prevention and healing of stress- induced diseases. Certain food associated with STRESS and ANXIETY should be scrupulously avoided. These foods are caffeine in coffee and many soft drinks, which can cause nervousness, irritability and palpitations.
Salt which has been associated with heart Disease; cigarettes which have been linked with cancer and alcohol which depletes vitamins of the B group considered essential for reducing stress.
Certain nutrients are beneficial in relieving stress. These are vitamins A and B, minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium which reduce the feeling of irritability and anxiety. Vitamin A is found in green and yellow vegetables, yeast, sprouts and bananas. An element of vitamin B- complex, pantothenic acid is especially important in preventing stress. It had a strong effect on the adrenal glands and the immune system and adequate amounts of this vitamin along with vitamin A can help prevent many of the changes caused by the stress.
Potassium deficiencies are associated with breathlessness, fatigue, insomnia and low blood sugar. Potassium is essential for healthy heart muscle. Nuts and whole grains are good source of potassium.
Calcium is a natural sedative. Deficiencies may lead to fatigue, nervousness and tension. Dairy products, eggs, almonds and soya bean are rich source of calcium.
Magnesium is known as natural tranquillizer and is associated with the prevention of heart attacks. Deficiencies may lead to excitability, irritability, apprehension, and emotional disorders.
Magnesium is also necessary for absorption of calcium and potassium and is found in many fruits, vegetables, seeds, dates and prunes.
Yoghurt is rich in vitamin A, D and B complex. It relives migraine, insomnia and cramps associated with menstruation.
Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower and sprouts are rich in calcium.
Exercise plays an important role in the fight against stress. Exercise not only keeps the body physically and mentally fit, it also provides recreation and mental relaxation.Recreation and Rest are also important. The patient should get a definite time for recreational activities. One should take a holiday at regular intervals. And above all, he should simplify his style of living to eliminate unnecessary stresses.
“THE ARBITRARY DOCTOR”