Stress Busters: The Stress Cycle
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Adrenaline and cortisol activity isn't the only danger when we're heavily stressed. Our blood-sugar, or glucose, levels rise, too, then abruptly fall. This is because both adrenaline and cortisol temporarily release stores of sugar into the bloodstream. You can get the same effect from a stimulant, such as coffee, or by eating sugar. Then there's the rebound, and your blood-sugar level plummets. This is serious, because 20 percent of the body's entire intake of glucose fuels the brain, the first area to suffer when glucose is scarce. A dip in blood sugar may leave you feeling tired, nervous, foggy, irritable, impatient, and temperamental. And to relieve this discomfort, you may reach for a doughnut, cola, or cigarette, and a vicious cycle begins. The good news is that a proper diet and specific nutrients can break this cycle. First, though, let's look at some of the typical solutions to dealing with stress and why they don't work in the end.
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From NATURAL HIGHS: Supplements, Nutrition, and Mind/Body Techniques to Help You Feel Good by Hyla Cass and Patrick Holford. Copyright © Hyla Cass, M.D., and Patrick Holford. Used by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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