The Story Behind Stress

The adrenal glands can be considered your ‘cortisol factories’. One sits on top of each kidney and produces this hormone to elicit the ‘fight-flight-freeze’ response that is the instinctive reaction we have programmed within us to appropriately respond to stress and danger.
Cortisol is released in response to both real or perceived threats. This means that being chased by a robber and fretting over paying the electricity bill on time cause the same biochemical changes in the body.
Under the direction of neural signals from the brain, the body frees up stored sugars for a burst of energy, and increases your heart rate and blood pressure in response to stress. This cross-talk is referred to as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA-axis in short.
Dysfunction in the HPA-axis underpins a number of chronic conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, but also exacerbates mental health conditions like anxiety; autoimmune conditions like lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and psoriasis; cardiovascular diseases and hypertension; and metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. When the signal for stress doesn’t ‘switch off’ the body adapts to protect itself by lowering cortisol levels, because long-term exposure to this hormone suppresses immune function.
When depleted of cortisol, or what is referred to as ‘adrenal burnout’ commonly amongst naturopaths, your body becomes more susceptible to infections, you tend to gain weight, experience ‘brain fog’ and poor concentration, and generally feel fatigued. For women, this can manifest as menstrual cycle irregularities (prolonged cycles or no periods at all) accompanied by abnormalities in thyroid function.

Rhodiola What?

Rhodiola rosea is commonly named Arctic root, Siberian golden root or rose root. It has a long history of traditional use in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Asia and has been seen to ‘enhance the intellect’, ‘restore weak nerves’ and was used as a ‘tonic against infirmity’. Other uses of this plant throughout both traditional and modern medicine include increasing physical endurance/stamina, work productivity and longevity; treating anxiety, depression and fatigue; support the treatment of anaemia; and for modulating the immune system to enhance the body’s response when under attack from bacterial and viral infections.
Rhodiola rosea is known to influence the levels and activity of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain to affect mood, energy balance, learning and memory.

Sustainably Sourced Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiolife® is a tried-and-tested, sustainably sourced rhodiola extract, wild-crafted in the Altai region of Siberia. Good collection practices ensure that only older roots are harvested, and repeat harvesting from the same locality is done on a 5 year rotation to allow re-establishment of wild plant populations.

Do These 6 Things to Manage Stress Levels That Are FREE!

1 Avoid using ‘crutches’ to mask symptoms of over-stress. These become negative coping mechanisms and bad habits that distract you from addressing the problem of stress itself. Minimise or cut out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, drugs (pain killers, recreational drugs, etc.) and other stimulants.
2 Get enough sleep. 7-9 hours a night is non-negotiable!
3 Implement an exercise regime that includes both 30-60 minutes of low to moderate intensity activity 3-5 times a week and active recovery sessions of stretching, yoga and/or walking.
4 Hydrate! 2-3L of filtered water a day is the general guideline.
5 Develop time management skills. Learn to schedule, prioritise, multi-task and delegate everyday jobs effectively amongst members of your household and family, so that the burden and responsibility is shared and does not rest solely on your shoulders.
6 Consider talking to a counsellor/psychologist to develop effective stress management strategies that work for you… and to get things off your chest by seeking advice from a professional there to listen to you. You GP may refer you for a mental health plan and up to 10 sessions covered under Medicare.

What Should I Take Rhodiola rosea With?

Synergy is an important concept in herbal pharmacognosy and naturopathic prescribing. Herbal medicines – both individual extracts and combinations of different herbs – can exert effects greater than the sum of their parts when you know what to pair them with. Herbs classified as adaptogens have been used traditionally to fine tune the body’s resistance to stress over time. Rhodiola rosea, Withania somnifera and Eleutherococcus senticosus are just three adaptogens kept in almost every naturopath’s herbal dispensary.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used traditionally for centuries within Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenate tonic to promote longevity and for conditions associated with weakness, exhaustion, and stress.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine for fatigue, stress, and enhancing mental and physical performance.
Chronic stress is known to deplete vitamin C levels. Vitamin C it is a cofactor required to synthesise adrenal hormones, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Vitamin B5 is also found in high concentrations in the adrenal glands and required to manufacture cortisol within the body.

To formulate a unique combination just right for you that improves attention and concentration, and reduces the effects of stress and fatigue, call and book an appointment today on 02 4721 3198.