The American Psychology Association reports that women are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms associated with stress. Findings include:
- Almost half of all women surveyed said their stress has increased over the past five years.
- Women are more likely to report that money and the economy are sources of stress.
- Women are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress, such as having had a headache, having felt as though they could cry or having had an upset stomach or indigestion.
- Married women report higher levels of stress than single women.
Although you can never completely eliminate stress, you can reduce it immensely by incorporating a few simple lifestyle changes to balance your stress hormones. Stress hormones can disrupt almost all of a woman’s body’s processes and put her at increased risk of numerous health problems including:
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Digestive problems and ulcers
- Depression and mood swings
- Memory impairment
- Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Increased likelihood of infectious diseases
A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Healthcare
While Ageology physicians believe that a customized medical treatment plan of vitamins, nutrition, exercise and hormone therapy, and prescribed medications as needed, is essential to help women achieve optimal health, they also believe the mind and body are inextricably linked with a woman’s state of physical health. Most traditional medical doctors do not explore the link between symptoms and the spiritual and mental well-being of their female patients. Nor do they seriously offer strategies for patients to manage the impacts of challenges such as prolonged stress, depression and anxiety beyond prescribing medication.
Women do need to stick to an exercise regime, eat healthy and nutritious food, take vitamins to supplement their diet, and possibly undergo bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in order to age well physically, emotionally and mentally. But women also need to understand there’s another side of keeping themselves healthy. Women also need to be able to laugh at themselves, sleep away stress (even if it’s only for a few hours), practice yoga or meditate, and be honest with their friends, family and themselves.
Ageology physicians can and do prescribe, and help female patients manage medication, but they also work with them one-to-one, using non-traditional approaches to managing mind/body health, and helping to restore the critical balance between physical and mental self. Here’s a few examples of a mind/body approach for women:
- Eat well: The connection between the brain and the gut cannot be understated. Every day, new research is being released on what Ageology physicians and other integrative metabolic medicine physicians have known for a long time. What you eat affects how you feel and how you think. Too often, patients get shuffled from doctor to doctor looking for the cause of their unknown malady. After an adjustment to a low allergen (gluten/dairy/nut/sugar/fruit and alcohol free) diet, within days the patient starts to finally feel better, possibly after many years or a lifetime of feeling poor.
- Get regular exercise and plenty of sleep: Exercise is a natural de-stressor. When women are engaged in physical activity their brains can partially refocus on the task at hand vs. the 1,000 other things that seem so pressing.
- Get plenty of sleep: Quality sleep will stabilize women’s hormone levels and give them a chance to “wind down” to normal levels after a stressful day.
- Practice relaxation techniques: There is nothing better than yoga to release stress. Like other exercise it gives women’s brains a distraction from stressors. But any exercise is even better if you can combine meditation into your practice.
- Foster healthy friendships: Having friends and taking care of animals has been proven to be enormous de-stressors. If you can take your dog to work with you, do it and don’t forget to make time to connect with a friend each and every day.
- Have a sense of humor: Instead of fretting over problems try to find the humorous side of them. Friends and your partner, boyfriend, fiancé or husband are often especially adept at helping you find the lighter side of your challenges, no matter how big they may seem.
- Balance your hormones: Your Ageology physician will use saliva testing to help determine your cortisol levels and based on the results, will help you balance those levels, using a combination of stress reduction techniques, personalized nutrition and fitness regimens, pharmaceutical-grade supplementation and bioidentical hormone therapy.
For more information on how you can get well, feel well and age well, contact an Ageology physician near you today.
Learn more about women’s health issues and how Ageology can help:
Read Ageology’s recent blog posts and library resources to learn more about women’s mind/body and integrative metabolic medicine: