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Stress and Yeast Infections
Stress and Yeast Infections Introduction
Stress causes more yeast infections than it's really given credit for.
However, many people have a mistaken impression of what medical types mean by stress.
It doesn't just mean the feeling you get when you hear your unpleasant relatives are visiting for a week.
Stress comes from many sources, some of which most people don't even register as stress because it's a pleasant sort of stress, such as the kind you feel on a rollercoaster ride you're enjoying.
So, if you suffer from recurrent yeast infections, it might help to find out just what stress is and how it affects your body.
Causes of Stress that can then cause Yeast Infections
The exact definition of stress is technically any physical, physiological or psychological force that disturbs the body's equilibrium.
Also included in the definition are the consequences of those forces upon the body.
Infection, injury, disease, pressures from internal organs, lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, a lack of exercise and the resultant metabolic problems, perceptions, emotions, anxieties, threatening events and more all fall within the definition of stress.
Psychological stress can come from the death of a loved one, problems within a marriage, personal conflicts with other people, abuse, bankruptcy, jail time, and self-doubt. Of course, psychological stress can also come from internal psychological problems such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder and any other mental illness on the spectrum.
Stress can also come from otherwise enjoyable things.
People who thrive on fast paced work are a perfect example of those who experience this sort of stress. Even though something can be quite fun, if it disturbs the equilibrium of the body it still counts as stress, and if it continues for too long it can have the same deleterious effects that unpleasant stress can produce.
Overexercise, overwork, and too much excitement all count as sources of stress.
Consequences of Stress
Stress can kill. Over time, high levels of stress contribute to high blood pressure, poor immune response, and systemic problems.
Muscle pain, back pain, and chronic headaches can interfere with the activities of daily life to a downright debilitating degree.
Chronic stress reduces both the body and the mind's capabilities to deal with new events. In a world that's constantly changing, that's not a terribly good idea.
The body doesn't always have the reserves to fight off oppotunistic infections, such as a yeast infection, and the mind may not be able to stand up to the strain, resulting in mental illness.
People with chronic stress can develop eating disorders, permanently upset stomachs, insomnia, depression or rage disorders.
On the purely physical side, there are quite a number of opportunistic infections, of which yeast infections are one of the milder. Tuberculosis is also an opportunistic infection, after all.
Stress can also speed up the progression of long-term diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular disease, making them attack the body much faster and with more damaging results.
Chronic stress can also lead to a magnesium deficiency, which is it's own entire world of misery.
Asthma, allergies, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, diabetes and insomnia are just some of the milder effects of magnesium deficiency.
So, the whole problem of eliminating the problems associated with stress all come down to restoring the body's equilibrium as quickly as possible for as much time as possible.
Our fast-paced world doesn't often let us do that, especially in industrial societies, so it's even more important to make time for ourselves and to regain our balance.
In a way, recurrent yeast infections due to stress function as an early warning system, a sign that we are asking too much of ourselves and not giving enough back in return.
Treatment and Prevention of Stress
The best treatment for chronic stress is basically a lifestyle change.
These basic steps will ensure you have all the building blocks you need for good health.
You may also want to take classes in conflict resolution in order to minimize stress from interpersonal fighting.
Conflict with others counts as one of the biggest causes of stress in most people.
It's a common myth that arguing doesn't require any skills, and anyone who's ever been on a debate team knows how big a laugh this is. Dealing with everyday conflicts requires a huge set of communication skills that we don't always learn at home.
If you consistently aren't happy with the way personal conflicts at work or at home turn out, you may want to look into classes to increase your skill set to resolve them more easily.
Really, anything that gets you out, moving and extricates you from the immediate situation can help with many forms of stress.
If you suffer from a great deal of stress and aggression, taking up a hobby such as martial arts may be a good idea.
A good martial arts course will teach you meditation, another important stress reducing technique, get your body in productive motion and help bleed off some stress due to aggression and aggravation.
For immediate relief, stress balls that can be mashed in the hand may help, as can throwing around a medicine ball.
Cognitive therapy can help decrease stress from past events, such as a troubled childhood or problematic love life.
Many people can benefit from cognitive therapy without having a current mental illness.
Cognitive therapy means that a therapist helps you think clearly about painful events in your life, work through them and eventually help them to make sense.
It's miraculous how much getting a problem to make sense can help, even if facing the truth of the situation is painful. At least it's then out in the open and can be dealt with.
Learn time management techniques in order to free yourself from the stresses of deadline crunch.
In addition, learn to say no when appropriate. That particular stress reduction technique is so important that it can't be overstated. Learning to say no helps with the entire range of human situations we find ourselves in. It covers everything from politely extricating yourself from extended family demands to learning to say no to a painful and dysfunctional romantic relationship. If you can learn the techniques to say no politely and without causing offense to reasonable people, you'll have gained much of your life back.
Don't worry about the unreasonable people. After all, there's no reasoning with them. Some may get angry with you for taking control of your life, but these people should be excluded from your life shortly thereafter. What's more important, your health or your acquiesence - submission to them?
If you suffer from a great deal of stress, you may find expression through art, music, or dance to help a lot.
Sometimes just getting it off our chest in a creative and constructive format really helps keep stress from poisoning our lives.
This, of course, feeds right into getting a hobby of some kind, that other stress-reliever.
It's important to not let a hobby become a source of stress in and of itself.
For example, I like playing with visual art. I'm working on realism, and I'm not that good at it. The last time I tried to draw a rose, it came out looking more like a poppy.
However, I don't worry about getting better. I have been getting better over time, but the journey has taken me twenty years thus far and I don't care if it takes another twenty.
Visual art is one of the areas in my life that it doesn't matter how good I am, and I laugh when I get something wrong. It's wonderfully freeing to not have to worry about whether or not I succeed at my drawings.
In an immediate stressful situation, taking a few seconds out to perform some deep breathing from the diaphragm can help a lot. The action forces you to stop, think, act instead of react, and gets extra oxygen into your system.
Your brain works so much better when properly fueled and you stand a better shot of solving the situation instead of making it worse.
Conclusion of Stress and Yeast Infections
By reducing the stress from all factors in your life, you not only reduce your chances of getting a yeast infection, you increase your overall health.
We as human beings are not meant to live with continual stress.
Short term stress in order to deal with crisis situations, sure, we wouldn't last very long in the chaos that is life if we couldn't.
However, one crisis after another after another with no rest was never meant to be endured.
Recurrent yeast infections due to stress are a sign that something is deeply wrong.
Don't just throw medications at it in order to avoid the symptoms, but fix the underlying problem instead for the quality of life you deserve.
References used for Stress and Yeast Infections
Selye, H (1950). "Stress and the general adaptation syndrome". Br. Med. J. 4667: 1383–92.
Sedgeman, J.A. (2005). Health Realization/Innate Health: Can a quiet mind and a positive feeling state be accessible over the lifespan without stress-relief techniques? Med. Sci. Monitor 11(12) HY47-52.
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