Radio Talk Show – www.workdtalkradio.com
Power of Water – Global Warming
Mind – Eyes – Skin – Body
Guest: Dr. Jon Nelson, Neurologist (Retired)
Topic: Taking Care of Stress
Jon (paraphrased): I was always interested in the nervous system so
when I went to medical school in
S: Why is it important to study stress?
J: Stress is an all encompassing fact of life in today’s world. People keep turning to pharmaceuticals for an answer that is just not there. Anti-depressant medication is a $100 million dollar business and prescriptions for them are up 130% in the last decade. And yet more and more people are complaining of clinical depression.
S: What exactly is stress?
J: In its purest form, form, stress is a basic, instinctive survival mechanism in reaction to a threat. In the classic “fight or flight” scenario, your adrenalin increases, your heart speeds up, your muscles tense. Except that these days, neither “fight” nor “flight” may be available options and we are often forced to suppress or internalize our reactions. We may not even be aware that we are reacting to threat. The results can be depression, confusion, headaches, anxiety, etc. Unresolved stress could lead to actual disease. And many medications for stress are counter-productive…they make you feel outwardly calm but all that does is enable you to continue to avoid resolving the underlying issue.
S: What are some of the results of unresolved stress?
J: Stress can effects your immune system, hormones, metabolism, fluid balance (make you dehydrated), nutritional absorption, sexual performance, anger management and ability to learn.
S: How can we reduce stress?
J: Easiest is to find ways to remove the stressor. If you can’t do this (or even if you can), pay attention to your health so any symptoms you develop don’t get out of hand. Learn to relax and not stew about things or keep them bottled up. Find peace and balance in your life. Unresolved stress can be especially devastating in children, who may not always be given positive, self-esteem building input by their parents or the world.
S: How do you protect your children in a house where there is stress and anxiety?
J: That’s a good question and a difficult one. I’d say if you’re a parent, fix yourself first because if you try to pretend the problem’s not there, your children will invariably see through it. The Bible says to “love your neighbor as yourself.” This tells us two things: (1) Love your neighbor and (2) love yourself. It implies that unless we love ourselves, we can’t really love others.
S: Do you have any suggestions for starting the day with a positive outlook?
J: Positive affirmations help first thing in the morning. And a healthy breakfast. And a glass of water. Take responsibility for creating a good day for yourself and try not to deal in negativity.
S: Could there be a physical basis for types of stress reactions, such as food allergies?
J: Probably. It’s hard to eat 100% correctly 100% of the time so there’s no telling what might end up in your system. Despite all the available nutrition education, and the growing army of health food converts, the overall state of nutrition is getting worse. Diet foods are particularly bothersome (“Diet” is a four letter word). The objective behind the marketing of diet products is too often not to help people but to rope in as many people and possible, whether or not the product or program is right for them. The result is a multi-billion dollar industry, frequent diet failure, yo-yo dieting, rampant obesity and even more stress, anxiety and depression.
S: What is the role of water in stress management?
J: Water is critical and essential to health and health is critical to processing stress. Because waters vary so widely in mineral content, it helps to drink the right water in the right quantities. Some people don’t even drink water but get all their fluids from things like soda, juices, coffee, fruit, etc. It can be done but it’s not a good idea. The act of drinking water burns calories and water flushes toxins out of the system and keeps it clean and healthy. Of course there may not be any absolutely “pure” water left on Earth. Also, the food we grow isn’t as nutritious as it once was. That’s why I am convinced that we all need nutritional supplements. Also, there are many things the body needs but can’t make, like minerals. But again, it needs to be the right supplements in the correct amount and balance.
S: How much protein, carbohydrate, etc., should we eat?
J: First of all, we should all get educated about nutrition. There’s a lot of hype and misleading information out there but there’s also good information. Second and above all, drink plenty of water. Then eat a proper balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Protein is the most important because your body’s “fat-free mass” is mostly protein and you can only replace protein by eating protein. It helps to know your body fat percentage and body composition analysis. You can calculate you BMI (“body mass index”) online but you need to know your height, weight, etc. Even if you are healthy, these measurements are important as a baseline. Also, nobody is perfectly healthy and a lot of people aren’t as healthy as they seem. The ASBP, which I belong to, has done a lot of work in this area. That’s the, “American Society of Bariatric Physicians,” or weight-loss doctors (http://www.asbp.org/).
S: What final recommendations to you have for reducing stress and sleeping better?
J: There’s an excellent 10-question evaluation you can get online that will give you an idea of your stress level. That’s an excellent starting point.
S: Thank you very much Dr. Nelson. Our next guest is Robert
Hamblin, owner of Hellgate Jet Boat Excursions here