My heart is giving me hints that my stress is too high.

I used to be an athlete, but this is long time ago, as a child. But since then, I’ve always kept up physical exercise or movement of some kind, and I’ve always had a regular slow heart rhythm, and always passed the EEC test prescribed for participating even to a normal gym with full flags, showing an athlete-type of heart with good recovery after physical stress (you know, the steps!). However, recently my heart started playing funny, fluttering, losing its normal regular rhythm and pounding in my chest for several seconds, half a minute at a time. Heart-in-my-throat type of feeling. And this would happen at the dinner table, or talking on the phone, or while swimming, the sport I’ve always practiced with extreme ease and loved.

All this was happening after almost 2 years of stress and anxiety related to family changes. Since I’ve done a lot of study on stress and anxiety in the past years, I had all means to connect the dots. Anxiety and stress do cause arrhythmia or irregular heart-beat. My heart was giving me an alert, not so much about its own health, which is still good, and medical research does not alert on casual arrhythmia if you do not have other serious heart conditions or haven’t had gone through heart surgery, which were definitely not my cases. But my heart was telling me that I had exposed my body and my mind to too much stress for too long and it was time to stop it. Now, stress, as we know, when prolonged, can cause serious damage at different levels and with different modalities.

Stress impacts the immune system: leading to higher allergic responses and more frequent viral infections; the circulatory system: in form of hypertension and atherosclerosis; the brain, shrinking some parts of it; the gut, provoking inflammation, dysbiosis and a whole chain of bad responses to these; the hormonal system: lowering values of sex hormones and insulin leading to osteoporosis, diabetes 2 and other nasty chronic diseases.

So I decided I did not want to go onto this road: I’m a health couch, I am supposed to remain healthy and teach people to become and stay healthy.

So here is what I prescribed myself to stay away from enhanced stressful responses:

- regular sitting meditations every morning,

- three times a day 5 minutes cardiac coherence breathing,

- a mix of medicinal herbs that have been proven by research to be effective antianxiety (better so than synthetic medications and with no side effects nor dependency response), like Magnolia, Ziziphus, Passiflora and Lavander;

- regular exercise alternating aerobic (swimming and bike-riding) and slow movement (yoga and walking),

- a probiotic formula to support the bacteria that control my mind, containing at least some of the strains that have been proven useful in stress-depression reaction

- and my regular healthy, freshly prepared, Mediterranean-type and balanced diet.

I felt supported and safe!

If you struggle with managing your stress, remember that there are amny ways to win it and avoid its nasty side effects! Call for a consultation or a free 15 minutes chat on line to discuss your concern

References

Bested et al. 2013 III Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health: from Metchnikoff to modern advances: part III – convergence toward clinical trials, Gut Pathogens 2013, 5:4

Borre YE, Moloney RD, Clarke G, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. 2014 The impact of microbiota on brain and behavior: mechanisms & therapeutic potential. Adv Exp Med Biol. 817: 373-403.

Bravo JA, F. P., Chew MV, Escaravage E, Savignac HM, Dinan TG, Bienenstock J, Cryan JF. 2011. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

Burokas A, Arboleya S, Moloney RD, Peterson VL, Murphy K, Clarke G, Stanton C, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. 2017 Targeting the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis: Prebiotics Have Anxiolytic and Antidepressant-like Effects and Reverse the Impact of Chronic Stress in Mice. Biol Psychiatry. 2017 82(7):472-487

Buckley, U. and K. Shivkumar, 2016 Stress-induced cardiac arrhythmias: The heart–brain interaction. Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2016 Jan; 26(1): 78–80.

Khanum, K. G. P. a. F. 2012 Neuroprotective potential of phytochemicals. Pharmacogn Rev. 6 (12): 81-90.

Matthews DM, J. S. 2013 Ingestion of Mycobacterium vaccae decreases anxiety-related behavior and improves learning in mice. Behav Processes. 96: 27-35.

Tsai YC, Chiu Li W, Dowd SE, Scurlock B, Acosta-Martinez V, Lyte M. 2009 Memory and learning behavior in mice is temporally associated with diet-induced alterations in gut bacteria. Physiol Behav 2009, 96:557–567.

Wiley NC, Dinan TG, Ross RP, Stanton C, Clarke G, Cryan JF. 2017 The microbiota-gut-brain axis as a key regulator of neural function and the stress response: Implications for human and animal health. J Anim Sci. 2017 Jul;95(7):3225-3246.

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