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Stress and medical issues

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#1 GenWhy

Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:28 PM

I was wondering if anyone had any good info or links to stress causing medical issues? I've been healthy as a horse up until I had my DD1 then my health began deteriorating. So far I've had PND, PTSD, cholecystectomy, pancreatitis, 2 caesareans, anaemic, staph infection, recurrent miscarriages, insulin resistance, ectopic scar pregnancy, pneumonia and just about every flu, cold or other bug that has gone around. My weight is creeping higher and I'm tired, worn out and feeling blah. A friend recently mentioned to me the impact of stress on your health and it got me thinking that maybe I've had such bad health issues because I've been through some pretty stressful things but also don't manage my stress well. I tend to blow up, eat, get nicotine cravings or drink during bad patches (haven't had a drink in a very long time but in the past have probably overdone it when feeling down). I'm currently taking no medication or vitamins at all - I'm going through a bit of a cleanse and hoping to start fresh.

Has anyone else tried new stress management techniques and found it has helped their health? Or is it a load of phooey.

#2 akkiandmalli

Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

Personally I think stress plays a major part in how the body functions and copes in situations. As a mum we have extra stress from the kids the home and work. For me the best thing I ever did was to work casually ( I am a teacher) so when I feel stressed I can take time to be on my own away from the kids DH and the house. I endulge in non food relaed activities like gardening and crafts to realise stress and create a better mental health . Good luck OP

#3 SplashingRainbows

Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

Hey there GenWhy

I'm not really answering your question but as soon as I started reading all the health issues you've had, I noticed a very large number of symptoms of coeliac disease, or other autoimmune conditions.

Have you specifically had any of these investigated by your GP?

I'm no doctor (or any kind of health professional) but I do have coeliac disease and am pretty familiar with the symptom list which includes anemia, miscarriage, depression & anxiety among others.

I believe a lot of auto immune conditions have a similar hit list of symptoms. Might be worth checking out?

Hope you're on the mend very soon.

#4 GenWhy

Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

Thanks For the messages. I was actually checked for coeliacs via blood test a few years ago and the GP said I didn't have it. I know I have some form of an autoimmune issue as I'm a keloid scarrer. That in itself is an autoimmune condition my specialist has mentioned several times. I've never been checked for anything else. I've been checked for a clotting disorder and it came up negative. I currently have a large hematoma in my uterus following surgery for the ectopic. I have always been a bleeder though.

Is there a test you can do for autoimmune things? Honestly I just feel like I've been to hell and back and wish I could muster up any form of motivation to get stuff done.

#5 kay11

Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

I have an auto-inflammatory syndrome (rare, but similar to auto-immune - jsut a different part of the immune system). My symptoms can cause a worse flare when stressed (hives like rash that sometimes burns - sometimes doesn't feel like anything  - also fever/chills/headache etc). If there's something auto-immune already going on, definitely get it checked by an immunologist. I was undiagnosed for ages and it caused some secondary stuff.

#6 Bluestocking

Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:08 PM

Stress definitely affects me. I'm at uni and also raising 2 kids.

Late last year my hair was malting badly, I had a bout of influenza, early this year I had bad stomach pains and other symptoms which my gyn felt was endometriosis (sp?), finally got that under control with medication, then mid way through the year came down with what I thought was gastro but didn't get better, doc said I probably had a stomach ulcer, but even after that was treated I was still feeling unwell. Had a gastroscopy, all clear apart from acid reflux, so am on strong meds for that, and was also able to identify milk as causing the nausea. So now I can't have anything with even the tiniest amount of milk! But at least I feel better for now original.gif Trying to limit my stress but it is hard.

Should also mention the blood test for gluten intolerance is  not all that accurate and it may not hurt to trial a gf diet and see what happens.

#7 SplashingRainbows

Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:50 PM

I would have thought a good GP would be able to help you work out which specialists to see.

I do know there are awesome GPs and not so awesome GPs though.

#8 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:57 PM

I believe stress pays a huge role in health and diet.  I have an auto-immune disease and am currently trying to make a lot of positive changes to my diet and stress levels in a hope that it will bring a reduction in pain and inflammation.
I'm cutting out milk, red meat, gluten, sugar etc

I would go see your GP and ask for some bloods to be done to check things out.  

#9 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:57 PM

Meet bear in woods --> get stressed -->  hormonal changes in brain --> cortisol rises --> suppresses immune system.

If your body has a choice of running away from the bear or fighting a bacterial infection, the bear wins.

This is just the modern day equivalent.

Some things you can do to help - obviously lower stress levels if possible.

Wash skin with Phisohex - when I had a series of staph infections, STBG put me onto this stuff.  Worked an absolute treat.

Lower sugar intake - fructose from cane/corn sugars (found in most processed foods) keeps your stress hormones in a permanently elevated state.  Stick to whole foods, fruit, vege, meat, dairy, rice etc.   (for the nitpickers, yes there is fructose in fruit, but when remaining bound to the fibre, its affects are negated)

#10 GenWhy

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:39 PM

Thank you for the responses. I think a massive diet change is in order and some research on new coping methods. I wasn't able to eat dairy or red meat when i had gallbladdder attacks and dropped a lot of weight. Now I'm eating it again I have been whacking weight on. I will see my new GP about some more bloods. Thanks again

#11 RealityBites

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

Have you tried exercise for stress relief?

#12 GenWhy

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

During the 2 years of gallbladder attacks I rarely exercised as I was in constant pain and vomiting all the time. I then went back to exercising but with the last pregnancy was told not to exercise due to all the bleeds. I've only just had surgery and have a haematoma in my uterus meaning I'm on bed rest until they can either do surgery or sort it out. But yes I used to use exercise until I became so unwell.

#13 Kalota

Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:39 PM

Unfortunately I don't have any links to any studies for you OP but I felt compelled to reply because I really do believe that stress is linked to physical (and psychological) medical issues.

A few years ago I started getting awful migraines that would leave me curled up in a ball in the bathroom vomiting for days. In the end I was admitted to hospital due to not being able to keep any food down and I stayed there for about 21 days until finally a neurologist found an epilepsy medication that worked calm the migraines down. They could not find any cause to the migraines and in the end it was all put down to stress, as it was the year I started full-time work as a teacher. I could not believe that being stressed could cause that much of a physical reaction!

I also notice that during especially stressful periods of my life I get stomach aches, back pains, headaches/aforementioned migraines and I just feel tired and run-down. In my opinion, it is definitely caused by stress. I especially think this after visiting various GPs and finding no other medical cause for these things and they would suggest that stress was playing a role, too.

My advice for you OP is to visit a GP and voice your concerns for your medical issues. Tell them everything you feel, just like you have here. They may check to see if there is an underlying physiological cause, but if there isn't, they may be able to recommend or refer you to ways if managing and reducing your stress to improve your health :-)

#14 RealityBites

Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:45 PM

Massages were suggested to me at one point, hot baths are also good.

#15 Kalota

Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (RealityBites @ 02/12/2012, 05:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Massages were suggested to me at one point, hot baths are also good.

I went to a clinic as well once and started getting regular remedial massages, dry needling and saw a nutritionist about my diet and I found it really helped with my stress :-)

#16 HerringToMarmalade

Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:55 PM

Yes, stress has a very large impact on health issues. If you put stress and illness into google scholar a lot of articles will come up (just the abstracts should be enough to get an idea of how it works), its a popular topic at the moment as new links are found between the body's systems that were previously thought to be completely separate (e.g. stomach bacteria directly causing depression).

The ways people handle stress can completely change their outcomes. I'd be going back to the GP for a full check up, then maybe ask for a referral to a psychologist. Even just a session or two may help you get on track and manage stress. A big factor in stress management is social support, do you have much support from friends or family?

#17 Guest_~Songbird~_*

Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:38 PM

Stress isn't to blame for everything. And there is good stress and bad toxic stress. We actually need stress to survive..

I would be looking into your health more via your doctor as there could be a physiological cause to your ill health. Pregnancy is a huge thing for the human body to go through.

#18 Bluestocking

Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

QUOTE (~Songbird~ @ 02/12/2012, 05:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Stress isn't to blame for everything. And there is good stress and bad toxic stress. We actually need stress to survive..

I would be looking into your health more via your doctor as there could be a physiological cause to your ill health. Pregnancy is a huge thing for the human body to go through.

A bit of stress is ok, but if you have a constant high level of stress for a long period of time, it does damage.

#19 pencil

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:40 AM

I have always seemed to become unwell a few months after each baby I have had. Pregnancy puts your body through a lot. After my last baby it was particularly bad. I was diagnosed with three different conditions that the doctor said were caused by stress. It's weird to me because I think I deal very well with stress, and most people would say I am too calm. But then, a midwife once told me I hold it all in, as apparently my heartbeat and blood pressure were rising as I was outwardly calm!

But, I have since discovered that I was incredibly deficient in something in my diet, and the medication I take now has brought me back to life. So, it is definitely worth researching more, getting more tests, and asking more questions.

Yes, stress causes illness, but not all illness, so it's wise to rule out other things. BUT work on the stress at the same time, because even if it didn't cause the illness, it certainly won't be helping you heal quickly.

#20 TheVerticalPronoun

Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:25 AM

Hi OP.

My medical issues have been very mild compared to yours, but I definitely find that everything flares up massively when I am stressed.

Have you considered meditation at all? It doesn't work for everyone, but if it suits you, it can do wonders. It took me a while to learn - It's not a magic bullet. I went to classes to force myself to stick with it.

As others have said, do continue getting medical attention, but alternative therapies could help you to cope while you do so.

All the best OP, hope you get some answers soon.

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