Stress and Cancer

Stress has far reaching effects on your body.  One of those things is that it encourages the release of certain hormones into your bloodstream.  Of these, norepinephrine (adrenaline) seems to have the particularly nasty habit of stimulating tumor cells to do a couple things – break down the tissue surrounding them so they can move about the body more freely, and stimulate the growth of blood vessels that will nourish the tumors.

While studies are still being conducted and new information is emerging regularly, it does seem that stress can indirectly contribute to cancer growth.  

And stress also seems to lessen the beneficial effects of cancer drugs.

Does this mean that every time you have a stressed-out moment you’re elevating your risk for cancer?  No.  It’s not the momentary stresses that cause problems – everyone experiences stress now and then.

However, when stress is ongoing and chronic and when it is becoming an overwhelming part of life, this could be a problem.  Not only does long-term stress increase the chances of cancer cell growth, it increases the chances of a number of health issues.  That’s why we hear so much about reducing stress and relaxing these days.

Stress happens to everyone, young and old, from time to time.  But chronic stress and high stress levels can spell trouble for your health.  In cancer patients, stress can be a bigger problem when the overall stress of the situation along with stress caused by pain, surgery, treatments and the changes that accompany them is factored in.

Take especial good care of yourself when you’re ill.  Stress never helps.  And following a good stress relief program can be even more crucial than ever.

Do You Have Stress Weight?

What does your weight have to do with stress?  Much more than you think!  Aside from the fact that many of us are overweight due to eating during a stressful situation, stress hormones in our bodies actually tell our bodies to store fat during stressful times.  It’s like adding insult to injury! 

It’s safe to say that the majority of people react to stress by eating something that makes them feel better – that’s why it’s known as comfort food.  Some eat more than others, obviously.  But during a time of stress, no matter what the cause, your body secretes chemical messengers that are designed to protect the body during times of prolonged stress, like starvation or other deprivation.

The thing is that the body doesn’t differentiate between kinds of stress.  Whilst our ancestors were usually faced with very real, physical stress, such as a hairy mammoth charge, which required them to stand their ground and fight, or run away, the “fight or flight” response is not so clear cut today.

In fact, much of the stress we feel today is perceived, psychological stress.  The tension of a bad relationship, the trauma of learning of a loved one is dying, the stress of watching a high action adventure or the anxiety of a scary nightmare – they all add up to stress to your body.  And any stress will cause the body to secrete high levels of stress hormones, also causes your body to store fat!

The moral of the story is: reduce your stress if you want a successful weightloss journey.  Not as easy as saying it, is it?  Nothing worth doing ever is.  Obviously exercise is a perfect choice to tackle both problems but what if you’re unable to exercise?  The good news is that anything you do to help you reduce your stress levels will also help with your weight.  Check out the stress busting tips posts in this blog.

So start taking your stress reduction seriously if you want to lose weight!