Running on Empty: How Stress Impacts a Woman’s Health

The inner drive to “do more” is significantly impacting women’s health, families, and careers. The burnout process is so intricately woven into our lives that even the brightest of women cannot identify the telltale signs of until it is too late. Check out these signs of stress and what to do to lessen them!

Firstly, the burnout is caused by a series of stressors that boil down to a few key triggers:

INSOMNIA. This can manifest in a lack of concentration/focus, anxiety, and fatigue.

INTENSE SELF-PRESSURE. Pushing yourself too far can stop ovulation. In turn, this causes progesterone levels to drop, mood instability, PMS, early menopausal symptoms, and irregular cycles.

SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE. This leads to shortened temper, anxiety, pent-up stress (no outlet), body pain, and a loss of flexibility and strength.

HIGH SUGAR/PROCESSED FOOD. Poor diets mean higher insulin levels or low or unstable glucose/blood sugar levels, resulting in weight gain, an inability to concentrate, headaches, and memory loss.

“YES” TO ONE MORE THING. Overextending yourself can lead to anger, poor execution of tasks, and a negative state of mind.

LIMITED SOCIAL CONNECTIONS. More anger and pent-up frustration. A lack of connection negatively affects the adrenal stress system, leading to a further downward spiral.

LACK OF NECESSARY SUPPLEMENTATION, HORMONE TESTING, AND AGE/STRESS INTERVENTION. This causes an imbalance in the endocrine system, often stemming from overworked, under-performing adrenal glands.

MINIMAL PLANNING. Poor use of time leads to bad food choices, lack of sleep, and a further progression of the emotional, mental, and physical symptoms of stress.

The symptoms of burnout are significant and can include the following:
• Fatigue • Forgetfulness/impaired concentration
• Chest pain, heart racing • Shortness of breath • Dizziness, fainting
• Compromised immune system
• Loss of appetite or sugar/starch cravings
• Anxiety/tension • Depression • Irritability • Isolation
• Lack of productivity

If you’re experiencing burnout, here are a few simple changes to help you turn things around!

Reduce blood glucose spikes and dips by eating lean proteins, good fats, and veggies to help eliminate morning grogginess and afternoon fatigue.
Take higher doses of Vitamin C and stress A.M. supplements in the morning and noon to balance the day and night rhythm of cortisol. EXERCISE
You don’t have to pound it out! Walking, yoga, Pilates, and light strength training will serve you better than a spin class or running. HYDRATE
Dehydration is one of the most common problems that cause fatigue and the physical inability to manage stress.
Breathe in through your nose (expanding your belly, not your chest) and out through pursed lips while focusing on the exact thing you want for yourself at that moment.

Peak Founder & CEO

NISHA JACKSON, PhD, MS, WHCNP, HHP, author of Brilliant Burnout, is a nationally-recognized hormone expert and gynecology health specialist with 29 years of experience in research and patient care. She is the founder and owner of Peak Medical Clinics.