Research has linked high levels of stress with autoimmune disease, heart disease, ulcers, diabetes, hormone imbalances, and countless other chronic health conditions. However, even knowing this research, doctors and patients alike still tend to focus more on the physical causes of disease rather than the physical and mental stressors that are often impacting their health.
The truth is that I’m seeing more and more patients with stress as a primary cause of their autoimmune and other chronic diseases, and it’s not just adults! I’m increasingly seeing children who are suffering from stress-related health problems as well! That’s why the fourth pillar of The Myers Way®, my approach to preventing and reversing inflammatory disease, is Heal Your Infections and Relieve Your Stress.
There are several factors that cause stress to negatively impact your health. In The Autoimmune Solution, I explain how stress can trigger or worsen an autoimmune disease because of its affect on your immune system. But, chronic stress can also damage your gut, which, as you know by now is the gateway to health, opening the door for a whole host of issues. In this article we’ll take a look at how stress affects your gut, and I’ll share some of my personal favorite stress relief practices.
How Stress Damages Your Gut
I often talk about how the gut is the gateway to health, and how a damaged gut can impact other areas of your health, including your brain. But, the brain and digestive system actually share a two-way connection, so not only does a healthy gut affect your mental state, but your mental state affects how your gut functions. Let’s take a closer look at how this connection works.
Your Body’s Response to Stress
When you experience any kind of stress, whether physical (slamming on your brakes), emotional (going through a heartbreak), or mental (overloaded at work), your body processes it the same- through the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands respond by creating a flood of stress hormones, including cortisol, which affect both your digestive system and your immune system (80% of which is located in your gut). Our stress response evolved primarily as a means of self-preservation from our ancestors facing immediate, life-threatening situations. Unfortunately, that response isn’t ideal for the type of chronic, ongoing stress we face today.
The Problem with Chronic Stress
For one, the cortisol your adrenal glands produce revs up your immune system and is highly inflammatory. This makes sense if you have an open wound and need to use inflammation to fight infection, it’s less helpful, and even harmful, if you are chronically stressed because you are working 80 hours a week or your marriage is on the rocks. Sustaining a high level of inflammation is dangerous because it puts you on the autoimmune spectrum, and, if it continues over time, can trigger an autoimmune disease. Your body recognizes this, so it actually suppresses your immune system after a cortisol spike, leaving it anywhere from 40% – 70% below the baseline, to balance out the initial burst of inflammation.
When you experience acute stress, such as a bear attack or the flu, your body’s natural short-term inflammatory response is exactly what you want to temporarily boost your immune system and give you energy to run and immune cells to fight the flu. However, in today’s world, we are all experiencing more long-term and chronic stress, such as always being available on our smart devices, working long hours, and over committing ourselves. We are not shutting off and unplugging, giving our bodies a chance to rest and recover. As a result, your body continuously cycles through periods of high inflammation, which can damage the gut lining, and a suppressed immune system, which leaves your gut vulnerable to pathogens you might be ingesting.
Furthermore, when your stress response kicks in, your digestive system shuts down. If you’re running from a predator, you need blood flow concentrated in your limbs for fleeing and your brain for problem solving, not in your gut for digesting your lunch.
How this Impacts Your Health
In this vulnerable state when the digestive system is suppressed or shut down, and your immune system is suppressed, harmful bacteria are able to multiply unchecked. The digestive system is temporarily unable to fight off bad bacteria by producing enough good bacteria to combat them, which can lead to imbalances in your gut flora such as Candida overgrowth.
What’s more, a shortage of good bacteria and an excess of yeast or bad bacteria can actually cause you to experience more stress because 95% of your serotonin (the “feel good” neurotransmitter that regulates mood, well-being, and sleep) is produced in the gut, and this production is slowed when you’re battling yeast overgrowth, a parasite, or other gut problems.
How to Combat Stress and Maintain a Healthy Gut
In today’s society full of never-ending demands on your time and the persistent feeling that you could always be doing more, it can be difficult to avoid stress. The key to keeping stress manageable and preventing it from causing negative health effects is to learn the tools to leave a stressful situation behind you after it’s over. I discuss this in-depth in my book, The Autoimmune Solution, as relieving stress is one of the four pillars of The Myers Way®, and you can read about it in this post.
Before I tell you how I like to de-stress, I want to be clear – there is no one best way to relax and relieve stress. Everyone manages their stress differently, so don’t stress yourself out over trying to follow the perfect de-stressing routine! The important thing is to find what works for you personally, whether that’s doing yoga, going for a run, spending time with your family, spending time alone, working in your garden, going to church, or any other activity.
Here are a few of my favorite de-stressing tips to get you started.
Sensory Deprivation Floatation Session– A few weeks ago I did my very first float session in a sensory deprivation tank, and I loved it! Floatation tanks provide a light and sound-free environment, with a shallow pool of water containing about 1,000 lbs of dissolved epsom salt. The high concentration of epsom salt allows you to float effortlessly, and the temperature is the same as that of your skin, so that you can’t even feel the water around you. The effect is a completely dark, quiet, and weightless flotation that reduces your cortisol levels, relieves muscle aches, and allows you to spend 60-90 minutes free from any stimulation whatsoever.
HeartMath Inner Balance App– I love the Inner Balance app for iPhone. It uses an external sensor on your earlobe to help you synchronize your heart rate, breath, and mind. It’s super easy to use, and convenient since I always have my iPhone with me. Plus, as a very goal-oriented person (yes, even in my stress reduction!), I love that it lets you set goals and track your progress.
Infrared Sauna Therapy– Spending time in an infrared sauna has many health benefits, including stress relief and detoxification. I personally have one in my home, and you can also receive treatments from natural spas that house their own.
Going on a Hike with My Husband and Dog Mocha – Spending time in nature with my family can be both relaxing and restorative, and squeezing in more quality time with my husband and sweet rescue puppy both cheers me up and calms me down, so this is a win-win all around!
Taking a Relaxing Bath with Homemade Bath Salts– I love winding down my evening with a relaxing hot bath. For a little extra pampering and relaxation, make your own Lavender Love Bath Salts, the Epsom salt is perfect for achy, stiff muscles, and the calming scent will take away the stress of your busy day.
A quick note from our founder-
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I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.
However, there's good news:
Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":
It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.
This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
- It wakes up un-responsive bodyfat with a powerful calorie-burning hormonal jolt....
- It pops open fat cells, sucks out the fat, sending it off before its yanked back in...
- It shuttles fat to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys - even your bones - to be burned as energy.
Not only do those layers of "zombie fat" start coming off, but your entire body just works better.
Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.
This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
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It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know.
And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
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In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.