Being wheeled into the operating room to have cancer surgically removed from our bodies caused most of us to rightly feel acute (intense) stress, this sporadic stress prompted our adrenals glands to secrete the hormone cortisol into our bloodstream, which then flooded us with high energy glucose/sugar. This response automatically raised our blood pressure, heart rate and immediately provided extra energy to our minds and muscles to enable us to fight, flight or freeze. (Hopefully, you froze).
After waking up from our surgery and about an hour after being given the thumbs up by our surgeon, our pancreas secreted the hormone insulin into our bloodstream which brought the high energy sugars/glucose, heart rate, and blood pressure back down to homeostasis (stable conditions).
This response to acute stress was and is necessary for our survival and evolution.
Being a cancer survivor and struggling daily with the disruption and side effects of cancer and its treatments cause most of us to experience chronic (continual) stress.
The three main chronic stressors of being a cancer survivor
- Mental/Emotional stress – cancer recurrence risk, imbalanced neurotransmitters, body image, weight gain, identity crisis, financial worry, family issues, work pressures, mortality worries, depression, fear, anger, anxiety, PTSD, etc.
- Physical/metabolic stress – cancer treatments, body fat, menopause, health issues, poor diet, body pain, disability, fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes, poor focus, dehydration, sleep issues, physical activity, etc.
- Chemical stress – cancer treatments, prescription medications, synthetic hormone-disrupting chemicals such as artificial flavors, sweeteners, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, plastics, heavy metals, airborne chemicals, detergents, dyes, etc.
It is no wonder that chronic stress is the symbolic state that cancer survivors experience In fact, 90 to 95% of all cancer prognosis, progression, recurrence, and mortality are directly related to the (chronic) stressors of our environment and lifestyle.
Having perpetually high cortisol, blood sugar/glucose, blood pressure, and insulin can unleash havoc in our bodies causing inflammation, disabling our immune system, increasing visceral (belly) fat deposition, stimulating the maturation of fat cells and significantly slowing down our metabolism which makes losing weight metabolically impossible.
And since blood glucose/sugar is cancer’s main source of energy and high insulin is attributed to increased cell proliferation and circulation, having chronic stress promotes the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) process.
By purposely harnessing and altering our primary “happy” neurotransmitters (chemical mind/body messengers) serotonin, which regulates mood, appetite, and sleep and dopamine, which is linked to thoughts, emotion, memory, and reward we can reduce or eliminate our chronic stress.
10 ways de-stress and balance our cortisol levels.
- Utilizing cognitive psychology-based techniques to modify our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and physical patterns.
- Having a strong support system.
- Prioritizing ourselves and taking actions to get healthy physically, significantly decreases the emotional fear of recurrence.
- Discovering and living our authentic truth and purpose.
- Participating in the recommended daily exercise protocol for cancer survivors increases our endorphins which is directly correlated with antidepressive effects, mood balance and significantly reduces cancer recurrence (up to 50%).
- Creating and following an organic, healthy anticancer nutrition plan that helps you lose weight, balances hormones and provides you with energy.
- Improving our emotional and stress responses by including the vitamins and minerals that balance our dopamine, serotonin and GABA levels.
- Practicing good “sleep hygiene” and getting at least 8 hours is paramount to hormonal release, repair, and neurological pathway regeneration.
- Getting sufficient sunlight naturally activates serotonin (feelings of well-being) and provides us with much-needed vitamin D3.
- Reducing or avoiding synthetic hormone-disrupting chemicals and using water and air filters helps us balance our hormones.
Decreasing stress, losing weight, balancing hormones and lowering recurrence risk is completely possible by modifying our emotions, nutrition, and lifestyle.
Please contact me if you would like to know more about balancing your many weight and cancer-related hormones and are ready to engage in a higher quality of life.
Download my *FREE* Guide to learn how you can start losing weight, lower your estrogen levels & reduce recurrence risk.