It only took me a couple of years of research in autoimmunity before I began to see the physiological connections between chronic stress (emotional, infectious, and toxic), and chronic illness. Needless to say, I was dumbfounded at how our medical system could be missing these connections. We’ve all heard the saying “Stress kills,” but how many of us have really taken that message to heart? Sadly, not many of us even know what it means—that is, until we get sick, and even then most of us will try to ignore, minimize or work around our stresses as if they don’t exist.
Our Cup Runneth Over…But Not in a Good Way!
The total amount of toxins your body is enduring at any given time is called your body burden. The total amount of stress you have at any given time is called your total stress load. We each have a limit to how much body burden or total stress load we can take. When I had my nutrition practice, I would explain it to my clients this way: we are each born with a cup: some of us have small cups, while others have larger ones. The amount of stress and toxins we can tolerate depends on the size of our cup. It doesn’t matter how big your cup is; there is a limit to how much it can hold before it spills over.
We all have genetic strengths and weaknesses, and each of us has a maximum limit of how much we can take before we get sick. For some, it’s the cardiovascular system that breaks down after years of chronic stress, and they might have a heart attack. For others, it’s lowered immunity, and there might be a diagnosis of cancer. For those of us with autoimmune conditions, our immune systems become confused and overwhelmed and attack our own tissues.
We live in an increasingly toxic world and most of us—yes, most—are living at or just below our “maximum full” line. We are literally stressing ourselves to death, and we’re not even conscious of it. In fact, we take drugs to mask our symptoms so that we don’t have to feel how sick, tired, depressed, anxious, and unhappy we really are. We eat foods full of chemicals we can’t even pronounce, we work at jobs we hate, we watch terrifying stories on the news, and when that’s not enough we watch violent films and TV shows for “fun.” We drink too much coffee and booze, tolerate lousy relationships, and slather on personal care products that could kill a cockroach. We clean our homes with poisons, breathe in smog and chemicals and then take prescription drugs to relieve our pain and symptoms. It’s a vicious cycle and the more stress we endure, the more unhealthy coping mechanisms we have to come up with, just to keep going!
The human body was not intended to be a hazmat dumping zone, but unfortunately that is what we have become. We are told that we should be able to “handle it,” and that if we get sick that there is something fundamentally wrong with our physiology or our genes.
Let’s get real about this, people! We are stressed-out and toxic and that is why we are sick. It’s commonsense, really…but when did commonsense become so uncommon?
What You Need to Know:
It is impossible to have an autoimmune condition and not be stressed on many levels. If you have an autoimmune condition, you have reached your personal saturation point for the total amount of stress your body can handle. In order to reverse your condition, you will have to identify the biggest areas of stress and alleviate them!