With the Holiday Season in full force, it’s important to maintain balance to avoid health repercussions of seasonal stress, sugary sweets and overindulgence in holiday spirits. As discussed in my book, “Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders” stress can lead to chronic inflammation which contributes to the development of health problems. In addition, managing stress and inflammation is critical to a healthy pregnancy.
Symptoms and Chronic Conditions Associated with Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is not good, and typically exists to clean out infection. It should then subside in order for healthy tissue to rebuild. If inflammation goes unchecked and hangs around for weeks or even years, more significant health issues can develop like:
- Arthritis or Painful Joints
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Headaches
- Digestive Problems
- Heart Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Environmental and Chemical Sensitivities
- High Blood Pressure
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Sleep Apnea
- Short-term Memory Problems
Lifestyle Strategies to Conquer Stress and Inflammation
A preponderance of research shows there are three major ways to tackle stress and chronic inflammation and all the ramifications of health that are associated with them:
- Nutrition: Eat a proper diet and consider switching to natural, preferably organic foods that are devoid of additives, high salt and simple carbohydrates.
- Exercise: There is no better way to relieve stress than through good heart-pumping exercise. Tai chi and yoga are excellent disciplines well known to bring down the stress response.
- Mindfulness: There are dozens of stress reduction techniques that can help bring down the stress response, including just learning to relax. The most effective is through mindfulness, a type of meditation that involves taking a few minutes of time throughout the day to erase all though from your head and just focus on the breath.
To learn more about stress and inflammation including how to test for inflammation in the body as well as a more in depth discussion of the influence stress has on both mom and baby during pregnancy and beyond, reach chapter 8 of my book “Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders.“