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Q: How does stress affect my overall health?

Posted March 27, 2013 in Advice Column, Waukee

A: You hear about it every day so many of the common maladies suffered by our families, friends and neighbors seem to come from stress of some kind but what is stress, what causes it, and what can we do about it?

Stress is your body’s response to the conditions around you. If your environment is friendly, you will have less stress, and if it is less friendly, your stress will increase. The stronger and healthier your body, the better you handle stress. There are three types of stress: physical stress, chemical stress and emotional stress.

Physical stress is mechanical stress, either injury or wear and tear, often affecting your bones, muscles, joints and nerve system. Chemical stress is toxic stress, either from taking in poisons or not nourishing your body with the proper foods and nutrients, affecting your organs, nerve system, immune system and skin. Emotional stress is psychological stress, from poor coping strategies, financial or family pressures or the absence of stress reduction and relaxation practices, influencing your digestion, sleep, circulation and nerve system.

Authorities agree that about 70  percent of serious disease is preventable by adopting lifestyle choices that reduce these three types of stress. Improve your diet and reduce your intake of stress-producing foods like sugars, fried foods and heavy fats. Ease your mind by including meditation, yoga or some other stress reduction technique. And get yourself in shape by exercising, while minimizing your physical stress with good posture and regular chiropractic care.

Information provided by Dr. Paul Kerkhoff, Kerkhoff Chiropractic, 260 Highway 6, 987-4747.

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