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Q&A Topics

Stress


Yesheen (dr.) Singh Medical Doctor View profile

Dear N



Thank you for your question. I would not advise that you mix the two. Both make use of a particular enzyme group in the liver to deactivate used molecules of the drug and if you use both together then a bottle-neck occurs and both drugs float around for much longer in your system than intended. This can be dangerous as it can lead to overdosing of both the Wellbutrin (Bupropion) and Solal's Burnout Fatigue product.



I would advise a proper consult with a practitioner to why you feel the need for Solal's Burnout product and then the practitioner can find something that helps alleviate the symptoms you are experiencing that will either work wth the Wellbutrin or even take away the need for the pharmaceutical.



You are welcome to contact me at www.healthnation.co.za if you would like to discuss your options further.



Many thanks and warm regards

Yesheen Singh

HealthNation

Nicola Webster Psychologist View profile

Thank you for your question. I am glad that you have sought help as it seems that your symptoms are causing real difficulties in all areas of your life. I can imagine that being a business owner comes with a lot of stress and what we know is that over time, stress takes a huge toll on us physically, emotionally, cognitively and behaviourally. A certain amount of stress in itself is not bad but chronic stress eats away at our resources and coping skills. With time too much stress can lead to physical complaints such as headaches, neck pain, high blood pressure, and digestive problems, as well as irritability, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, anxiety and depression.

You describe a problem which began with insomnia but has now extended to lethargy, a lack of motivation to do the things you used to enjoy, moodiness and little desire to be active.This tells us that your stress has moved far beyond being constructive. The first important step is recognising the signs of stress which is what you have done. What will be important next is to sit down and identify the causes of your stress.

It sounds like running your business is a huge contributing factor but there may be other things adding to the stress which you may not realise. Any changes in our home or work lives can add to our stress even if they are positive. From things like financial troubles, death of a family member or friend, divorce and personal illness to others like moving house, having a baby, business readjustments or even getting a promotion, we can sometimes underestimate the stress that events in our lives cause. You may want to sit down and think about what is contributing to your stress. By doing this you are then able to see where you may be able to reduce the stress. Perhaps you can delegate more at work or get more support from your family with your responsibilities at home.

I would suggesting trying a more holistic and long term approach in dealing with your stress, which will include lifestyle changes which may take a while to implement and get used to (it may be helpful to enroll the help of your partner and family). The basic things like eating healthily and exercising can help a huge amount in reducing stress. Unfortunately, stress also decreases our motivation to exercise and maintaining an exercise programme may be difficult. You mention that you no longer feel you have the energy for the sports that you used to enjoy. Ironically exercise, once we get ourselves to do it, helps with exhaustion and stress. Not only is this because sport is a good outlet for emotions but also because, among other physical effects, it increases the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in our brains. Serotonin helps regulate our moods and reduces irritability, anxiety and depression. Exercise also ensures that we sleep better at night. It may thus be helpful to force yourself to exercise even if it is only for a short time everyday. This could be going for a walk with someone from your family or your dog, playing outside with your children or nieces or nephews, or doing a hike over the weekend. Getting outdoors and spending real time with family have both been shown to reduce stress in their own right.

Finding other relaxation methods that work for you can also be very beneficial. More general methods like deep breathing, which can be done throughout a stressful day, or specific techniques like yoga and meditation, can all help to reduce stress. If none of these appeal to you, simply building time into your day to do the things that you enjoy and that help you to unwind will have a similar effect. We know that a lack of restful sleep will exacerbate any stress we feel and this can become a vicious cycle- the more we stress, the less we sleep, the more stressed we feel… and so on. Again start with the basics: try to reduce your caffeine intake during the day and not have caffeinated drinks after about 5 ‘o clock. Similarly with alcohol, reduce your intake particularly in the few hours before you go to sleep. Switch off the TV and computer a while before you go to bed and rather do something that calms your mind like reading or having a relaxing bath. Not sleeping properly is a serious problem and can be a symptom of depression. If none of these things seem to make a difference I would certainly recommend speaking to your doctor about this.

The moodiness that you describe may also be pointing to something that is bothering you but that you may not be aware of. Often when our underlying emotions are ignored they spring out up in different ways. For example some people may become irritable, others may begin to drink or smoke more, while others may withdraw. Try speaking to your spouse or a close friend about some of what is bothering you. A few sessions with a cousellor or therapist could also be helpful in exploring all the causes of your stress and helping you to find ways of reducing and dealing with the symptoms.

Approaching your stress in a more holistic way will help to deal with the underlying causes of your symptoms rather than just ‘putting a plaster on’ them. This said, however, if you find that you are more and more unable to function in your everyday life it will be important to visit your doctor who may suggest putting you on short-term medication in order to help you get back on track.

I hope this helps you to start reclaiming your life back.

Kind regards

Nicola

Gabriell (dr.) Prinsloo Medical Doctor View profile

Hi

While hypothyroidism (under functioning thyroid) can account for some of your symptoms such as being tired, gaining weight and sleeping a lot; it wouldn’t account for others such as the increased heart rate or shortness of breath.

I think it sounds more likely that your symptoms are resulting primarily from stress. Stress causes the release of cortisol and adrenaline from the adrenal glands which result in palpitations, shortness of breath, anxiety and irritability. Stress also affects the bowel causing irritable bowel syndrome as well as poor digestion which in turn can result in fatigue, swelling and weight gain. Ultimately if stress is ongoing it leads to adrenal fatigue as well as disrupting other hormone systems causing sex hormone imbalances and hypothyroidism. Weight gain (especially the ‘pear shape’) is also associated with under functioning adrenals and thyroid glands.

Rather than looking at each thing individually (PCOS, IBS, adrenals etc), it is important to look at the whole picture and how these impact each other, and then to develop a management plan that treats the body as a whole. Once you finish your exams I would suggest that you consult someone who will help you do this. At that point if it is necessary thyroid function tests can be done (these are only done at pathology labs).

For now the most important thing is to support yourself during this stressful time – this includes effective stress management techniques as well as giving your body the support that you need.

There are several things that you can do to manage stress:

1. Take some time out each day to relax, daydream and do whatever makes you the most happy

2. Meditate - there are many different forms of meditation and you can find the one that works best for you (although if you have not meditated before, don't stress about learning now, rather wait until after exams)

3. Exercise – a little each day

4. Breathing – very important! Relaxed, slow, easy, comfortable breathing at about 6 breaths/min helps the body to relax

Make sure that you are eating well; take a good multiB supplement (this helps the body to manage stress better) and a good fish oil supplement (this is important for the body to function effectively and for the brain to work well). There are other specific natural stress management supplements but these need to be prescribed on an individual basis.

If you need help finding someone who can help you manage this holistically or need help managing your stress now please let me know. My email is Gabriell@skylightsanctuary.com.

Good luck for the exams!

Warm regards

Gabriell

Gabriell (dr.) Prinsloo Medical Doctor View profile

Hi

These symptoms could definitely be related to stress but it is important to make sure that there is nothing else going.

There are many factors which can result in abnormal periods. Stress is definitely one, as it can affect the hormonal balance. Numbness is caused by compression or damage to a nerve. This could be caused by muscle tension, but also damage to or misalignment of the spine. Leg twitching can also be related to excessive muscle tension which is often stress related.

If your symptoms persist then visit your GP who can take a full history and examination to determine the exact cause.

Warm regards

Gabriell

Chase (dr.) Webber Naturopath View profile

Insomnia is defined as disturbed sleep patterns or difficulty in sleeping, thus leaving you with the feeling of inadequate sleep. There are three main types of insomnia.
Initial insomnia which is difficulty or unable to fall asleep when first going to bed.
Waking too early during the night with difficulty in going back to sleep, despite having fallen asleep normally.
Awakening frequently during the night.
Most cases of insomnia are a result of different levels of stress or anxiety building up in the body. The body starts to develop coping mechanisms to increase circulation to the brain or increase stress hormones or increase the activity of the mind to find solutions to what is causing anxiety.
One of the best ways to deal with this is through daily exercise that is mild to moderate - it will cause the body to normalize the stress hormones, improve breathing and activation of the relaxation hormones. Start a program of daily walking for 20 to 30 min at a pace that you can do without causing breathlessness - just take a good stroll and breathe in a relaxed way.
Other alternatives that have been effective in research are supplements containing:
Magnesium, Valerian, Lemon Balm & Passiflora - visit the Natural Medicine Dispensary and they can advise on what is available.

Best regards
Chase Webber ND

Gabriell (dr.) Prinsloo Medical Doctor View profile

The cause of your challenges is most likely stress. Stress can precipitate an outbreak of shingles as well as causing high blood pressure. It is unlikely that the high blood pressure is associated with the medication that you took, much more likely the stress.

Risk factors for a stroke include factors that are modifiable such as high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, poor diet, physical inactivity and obesity. These are the areas to focus on to reduce your risk of a stroke. In addition there are factors that are non-modifiable such as increasing age, male sex and a family history of heart disease and stroke).

It is important to look at all of these risk factors to lower your blood pressure as well as reduce your risk of a stroke. As stress is a significant contributor to high blood pressure, managing your stress is essential. If you need assistance you can consult a stress specialist or coach. WELL DONE on stopping smoking – that will make a big difference, so keep it up! Continue to exercise regularly – see below for exercise recommendations. If you are overweight, it is important to lose weight until your BMI (weight in kg/(height in m)squared) is in the normal range (18.5 – 25). Avoid eating saturated fat, refined carbohydrate and processed food, avoid putting excess salt on your food, and eat lots of fruit and vegetables. It is also important to have your cholesterol and blood sugar tested.

I would recommend going to a general practitioner as soon as you can to have a fasting lipogram (to check for high cholesterol) and a fasting glucose test. The Doctor will also check your blood pressure and heart. If your blood pressure is still high after managing stress, and making all of these changes then it might be necessary to start medication.

Exercise guidelines: The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio 5 days a week OR 20 minutes of vigorously intense cardio 3 days a week, together with strength training 2 times a week. Moderate intensity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still able to carry on a conversation.

Good luck! Keep up the good work.

Let me know if you have any further questions or need assistance in managing your stress.

Kind regards Dr Gabriell Prinsloo

Gabriell (dr.) Prinsloo Medical Doctor View profile

Stress does make conception more difficult, and exercise in moderation is an essential component of stress management. When
we exercise, the brain releases endorphins which are natural opiods
that are pain relievers and make us feel good. In addition, exercise
has many other benefits leading to a strong healthy stress resistant
body. However,
moderation is important – too much exercise puts a lot of physical
stress on the body as well as depleting the body’s energy reserves.

In
order to conceive the body needs to have stores of energy and if the
percentage body fat is too low menstruation stops and conception is
impossible. The
American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate
intensity cardio 5 days a week or 20 minutes of vigorously intense
cardio 3 days a week, together with strength training 2 times a week.
Moderate intensity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate
and break a sweat, yet still able to carry on a conversation.



Stress however is very complex, and so it is important to look at several different areas to help you manage stress. First,
you should try to decrease your exposure to things that stress you.
List the things that are stressful and then find creative ways to
reduce them – redefining priorities, delegation,
improving time management, reducing work load, avoiding traffic etc.
Even having difficulty conceiving can be very stressful. It is very
important to explore the reasons why we get stressed, especially any
stress related to conception. However
a lot of the stress in our lives is unavoidable, so it is also
important to increase the body’s ability to resist stress. As mentioned
above, exercise is essential, as is enough sleep, good nutrition and
optimizing physical health. I believe that it is important to have some
personal time (‘me time’) every day, doing anything that relaxes you –
whether it is meditation, walking on the beach, watching the clouds or
having a bath, whatever makes you happy!

The use of specific breathing
techniques (easy, slow, relaxed, conscious breathing at about 6
breaths/minute for at least 10 minutes a day) has been shown to reduce
stress. I also find that hypnotherapy is a very effective stress
management tool – assisting the body to relax by balancing the
autonomic nervous system, as well as helping us to stay calm in the
face of stress.

So,
in summary your exercise is excellent and will definitely help to
reduce your stress (although don’t exercise too hard), however there
are other areas which are also important to focus on to manage stress
effectively to conceive.

If you would like any further advice please feel free to arrange a consultation.

Good luck!

Regards

Dr Gabriell Prinsloo

Chase (dr.) Webber Naturopath View profile

Eyelid twitching is often related to eyestrain and stress. You may need to go for a check up for your vision and look at other eyestrain possibilities such as too long in front of the computer etc. I would also recommend supplementing with the herb Eyebright and the mineral magnesium. Eyebright contains the flavanoids that help vision and magnesium relaxes the nerves that may be over-stressed. I do not think your eye twitching is related directly to your lower back, although the nervous system is intricately connected and irritation lower down could stress the entire nervous system. Regards Dr Chase Webber ND


Please Note:

The Wellness Q & A is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your health, you should always consult directly with your healthcare professional. Wellness Warehouse will not be liable for any errors in the Wellness Q & A, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The advice on the Wellness Q & A is not comprehensive and does not replace the assessment and advice of your own healthcare professional. Consultation with your healthcare professional is extremely important if you are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms.

Caution:

Consult your doctor, healthcare professional, and/or pharmacist before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. If you have a chronic illness or routinely take prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) medication, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is extremely important to consult your doctor, healthcare professional, and/or pharmacist before taking any new medication. Do not stop taking any prescription medication without consultation and guidance from your doctor.

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