15 March Another Strike Against Stress
Stress is in no way good for the body, but did you know that the damage it does goes much deeper than what we think it does?
Stress adversely affects collagen, and cortisol (a steroid hormone) stimulates collagen’s degradation to release amino acids for energy. Additionally, cortisol increases blood pressure, so that the glucose and other nutrients are delivered as quickly as possible to the brain and muscles.
When we’re constantly on the go and not taking the proper time to rest our body and mind, our cortisol levels soar, and we inadvertently wear down our collagen reserves, resulting in weaker, thinner, and less abundant connective tissue throughout the body – including the skin!
Stress with associated high cortisol also indirectly contributes to wrinkling and other factors affecting skin health by increasing free radical formation, inflammation, and age formation.
With stress one might experience:
- More oil production, leading to acne
- Craving for sweets – which leads to higher blood glucose levels and ultimately increased glycation end-products
- Increased inflammatory cytokines – which negatively affect wound healing and skin regeneration and may lead to more itching, redness, and swelling
- An enhanced free radical load – which damages skin through oxidation
All of the above lead to skin damage, decreased collagen synthesis, wrinkling, and skin aging.
Stress management might be the most important thing one can do to slow the aging process on the skin and throughout the body.
What can you do right now to ensure healthy skin for years to come?
Book a consultation with Dr. Manning or Dr. Woodward.
Assess/test and balance your hormone levels if needed
Implement a plan to decrease stress and manage it appropriately when it does occur, including self care time
Eat a balanced diet with abundant and varied fruits, vegetables, good fats, avoid processed food and ensure good Omega 6-to-3 ratio balance and supplement with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients as indicated
Exercise regularly to increase blood circulation and enhance detoxification through perspiration
Drink plenty of water
Stop smoking – research into smoking and stress has shown that instead of helping people to relax, smoking actually increases anxiety and tension
Monitor time spent in the sun, covering up when exposure is intense or prolonged
Keep your blood sugars in check by eliminating simple sugars from the diet and getting treatment if ongoing issues with insulin resistance or diabetes
Drink less alcohol and caffeine
Ultimately the steps you take toward enhancing your skin’s health, including optimising collagen production, are very similar to the same steps recommended for improving energy, mood, memory, weight, and overall vitality.
Here’s to looking and feeling your best!
Book a consultation with our doctors for recommendations on what treatments and products are best for you!