Rosacea and Stress – Is There A Connection. If you suffer from Rosacea, then you know just how stressful this condition is to live with on a daily basis.
In my work it is very apparent that the long term effects of coping with Rosacea result in a reduced ability to handle everyday stresses, even those unrelated to Rosacea.
Clients report that either Rosacea onset began with a stressful incident or with an event of some trauma or a stress of some magnitude, or that as the Rosacea worsened they experienced a reduction in their ability to handle stress.
When an individual experiences a stress, the body responds by releasing a series of hormones and neurotransmitters that create internal changes to meet the challenge of that stress. The body responds to all stress as though it required physical action on our part, whether the stress is physical or mental in nature. At this initial stage several internal changes occur including:
1. Digestion is switched off (it is not a time when you will be sitting down to eat).
2. The heart beats faster, blood is transported to the periphery of the body, and blood vessels are dilated to facilitate this.
3. The blood and muscular system is flooded with glucose to provide a high level of energy, power and stamina.
This initial response is called The Alarm Stage and can easily be imagined as how one feels mentally and physically when one is fearful or shocked.
If stress persists over a period of time, the body can then be said to be in a second stage, The Resistance Stage. This is ‘coping’ with the stress by merely ‘getting through the day’. Eventually, if this stage continues, the body becomes depleted of resources including nutrients, stamina, mental alertness, and the ability to be objective – things become very subjective and mood changes occur very often resulting in anxiety and depression.
Finally one reaches The Exhaustion Stage where the body cannot maintain normal function and the immune system begins to fail. This is the stage of onset of disease.
The majority of my clients are in the Resistance Stage and addressing their adrenal glands through nutrition and lifestyle factors helps to prevent the progress to the final stage and disease onset.
Rosacea has no known cause but stress most certainly plays a role in its progression through the four stages. It appears to be that vessel walls are compromised to begin with, which suggests nutrient deficiencies and faulty digestion. Whether Rosacea began with a stressful event or not, stress is most certainly a part of living with Rosacea. The pattern of development of Rosacea looks something like this:
1. Poor vessel wall integrity + stress (vessel dilation) = excessive force of blood flow through weak vessels = inflamed or broken vessels
2. Digestive shut-down via stress response + food still entering the system = inflamed stomach / intestinal lining. Long term effect = malabsorption of nutrients and toxin build-up (undigested food) in the gastrointestinal system.
Most people take antibiotics prescribed to them by their GP when they first develop Rosacea. This leads to further imbalances in the digestive system and it’s integrity becomes compromised, this leads to a reduced immunity and further digestive imbalances resulting in reduced production of B vitamins which are essential to the stress response!
3. Food sensitivity develops and certain foods that one always ate previously now cause flushing. This is typically due to a compromised intestinal lining which allows larger than usual food molecules into the blood stream, in turn this stimulates the immune system to respond as though the food particles were foreign invaders. Over-activity of the immune system, as described here, results in inflammatory compounds being released which further exacerbates Rosacea.
Stress and Rosacea are intimately connected. Rosacea exacerbates stress and vice versa. Therefore if you have become less resistant to stress, have digestive problems, and feel your Rosacea is out of control, it is time to take matters into your own hands and get onto a combination programme to address Rosacea, Digestion and Stress.
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