Two of my social media clients are in the health field and so I’ve read countless articles about the effects of stress on the body but I didn’t really believe it was possible until the last six weeks.
Around the end of November I thought I was coming down with the flu. Some days I’d be “fine” and others were rough. Every symptom could easily be explained away. I was working too hard/too many hours, having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, not eating right, my mind was “on” non-stop, etc. I was really overwhelmed trying to maintain my client workload while dealing with harassment from a cyberstalker who has been latched onto me since June 2013. It honestly never crossed my mind that my health problems may all be the effect of too much stress.
At the end of January a client and I were chatting about how we need to get annual check ups (she said it was important, I didn’t). I admitted my doctor had given me a lab order last April (2013) and I hadn’t been in yet to get the blood drawn. During that call she made me promise to get in for the blood work and I said I was planning on doing it soon because I had not been feeling the greatest since November.
A few appointments later my PCP told me she thought I had fibro but she was going to refer me to a rheumatologist for additional testing. At that point I did my own research on fibro and wasn’t “sold” that was what was going on so I reached out to Trish at Nutritional Healing Technologies to see if we could do some food allergy testing.
I started documenting various things about how I felt, time of day, etc. and I began to see trends which I shared with the rheumatologist at my first appointment. During that appointment he asked two important questions that my PCP had never asked, which helped him arrive at the conclusion of, “I think you’re experiencing too much stress and combined with little and poor quality sleep I can see why your PCP thinks it’s fibro.”
I was shocked. I was skeptical. Really skeptical. How could it possibly be that my body was reacting the way it was all because of stress? But I was also hopeful. If that was/is indeed the case then it should be easy to reverse, right?
In my quest to learn all I can about the effects of stress on the body I was lead to the book, Are You Tired and Wired?, which is incredibly informative and it explains just how adrenal fatigue, stress and sleep are designed to work within the human body….and all the things that can go wrong. I’m not quite finished with the book yet but have already made lifestyle changes as a result of what I have read.
My journey is just beginning….
While I’m really just starting this journey of healing and there are things I still have to do, I am certain I will be in a much better place than I have been. The food sensitivity testing revealed there are things I need to cut out of my diet (I’m transitioning those items out now) and I still have to get the adrenal testing done.
The reason I share all of this is so you can hopefully learn from my mistake. I’m certain I must know someone who has experienced health problems as a result of extreme stress, yet no one comes to mind. Is it because we fear revealing our challenges to others lest they judge us and perceive we are incapable? Would I have been any kinder to myself had a friend shared their struggle with me? While I don’t know for sure, I’d like to think so.
photo credit: Circles of Inspiration