People have to deal with a lot of stress these days. But how can you recognize it and how can you deal with it? luckily it's not that hard.Stress is mostly linked to the negative aspects. People will think about their nagging boss, life at home, work,…. The list goes on and on since people can’t deal with it. It seems like they almost forgot that it can protect you and therefore can be a good thing.

Ever heard of the fight or flight reflex? So you’ll be safe as a result of stress. Well due to your bodies reaction on a stressful event.

The different forms and symptoms

There are three different forms which you should know

  • Acute stress
  • Episodic acute stress
  • Chronic stress

Acute stress

This is the most common known form because it helps you deal with the everyday pressures that occur. It can either be thrilling or exhausting. For example training in a good way will cause an acute stressreaction, your body can cope with this. Therefore you won’t suffer from any long term damages that occur as a result of overtraining.

Some symptoms are:

  • Anxiety
  • Poor concentration
  • anger outburst
  • irritability
  • back pain, headaches,….
  • Elevation in blood pressure,dizziness,….

When these symptoms occur they will decrease after 8 hours and will be gone after three days.  But we’re talking about the next stage when these symptoms last longer then four weeks.

Episodic acute stress

You’ll suffer from the previous form frequently if you wind up in this stage. Those people are always in a rush and always late. They accept too many tasks and end up with the consequences.Their lives are in choas and crisis and therefore hate their job. Those are the people who always say yes when they’re asked to do something for somebody else. As a results the workplace becomes a more stressfull place for them.

These people are often

  • Over aroused
  • Short-tempered
  • Irritable
  • Anxious
  • Tense

Chronic stress

This form affects multiple aspect of your life. It destroys your body as much as your mind and personal life. It comes from never ending problems in peoples lives like an unhappy marriage, family problems,…..

There is one aspect that makes chronic stress extremly dangerous namely people forget about it. That’s right you can get used to it and therefore it’s crucial that you need to recognize it. Stress can become comfortable and you don’t want to end up there.  

This form can kill, literally because it can lead to suicide. There are also other possible consequences like violence, heart attack, obesity (1) and even cancer (2).

note: It’s not a suprise that stress is linked to obesity and other health problems.¨People tend to eat less healthy, drink more alcohol, sleep less, abuse of drugs and/or medicines due to stress related issues.

Does it affect testosterone?

Can stress really lower your testosterone levels?  Yes it can, lets take a look in how just two minutes of stress can lower your testosterone production.

Do you remember that your parents told you to maintain a better posture? They gave some quality  advice. When you have lots stressors it can occur that you don’t pay attention to your posture. Your posture becomes less dominant and BOOM consequently your testosterone levels decrease. So therefore you need to keep your posture in check; that’s what almost every teenager tends to forget.

Most people don’t know the danger of low testosterone levels but I suggest you check them out. Having low testosterone isn’t a joke and should therefore be be addressed.

Human studies and…

There was a study where they measured psychological stress in a group of males between 30-55. They measured the stresslevels by three parameters: trait anxiety, hostility and depression. They compared this with the serum testosterone. The males who had high psychological stress had lower testosterone levels then man with low stresslevels. (3)

In a longitudinal study they looked at young soldiers in Officer Candidate School. In the early part of the course, which was more stressfull, they noticed a surpression in testosterone. The conclusion was drawn after they also measured the testosterone levels on a more relaxed period.  (4)

… also studies with rats

Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to acute and chronic immobilization stress. Changes in plasma levels of LH, FSH and testosterone and in the content of testicular inhibin and testosterone were studied. Plasma LH levels decreased significantly in response to both acute and chronic stress. Significant decreases in plasma testosterone content were also observed after chronic stress. In contrast, plasma FSH and testicular bioassayable inhibin content did not change after acute or chronic stress. These findings indicate that in male rats immobilization stress induced a dissociation in LH and FSH responses, and decreased testosterone while inhibin remained unaffected.

In this study they used male rats who were subjected to acute and chronic immobilization stress. They studied the changes in multiple plasma levels (LH or luteinizing hormone, FSH or  follicle stimulating hormone and testosterone) . changes in the content of testicular inhibin and testosterone were also measured.  There were some different findings in this study: (5)

  • there was a significant decrease in plasma LH levels as a reaction on both acute and chronic stress
  • the plasma testosterone decreased significantly after chronic stress
  • both testicular bioassayable inhibin and plasma FSH did not change after acute and chronic stress

 

how to deal stressors

  • first of all you can meditate once or twice a day for 10 minutes
  • take ashwaganda (study, study, study, study,study)
  • learn to cope with it. Your cortisollevels are the highest in the morning therefore you need to learn to deal with morning stress.
  • learn to say no to people. Always saying yes to other people may be kind but after a while they keep asking things and you end up stressed due to alot of work
  • take some “me-time”, do something you like, go on a walk alone or with your wife and kids , play with your kid, read a book, train, go away with friends……
  • maybe the hardest one: drop people who only cause drama and problems. In the beginning it’s seems like a hell of a job but you’ll benefit from it. Life’s to short to be miserable
  • watch a comedy. Laughing seems like a good way to clear your mind.
  • don’t always think about work and school
  • surround yourself with positive people. When I started writting this article I wrote this in the company of someone who wrote on a thesis. It made working a lot more fun and productive. A positive environment can do miracles and kill stress.
  • Worst case scenario, quit your job and search for a new one. It seems like a dumb thing to do but you can benefit from it.

Don’t forget that unhappiness makes you do dumb things and therefore should be avoided.

In conclusion

Testosterone and your health suffer as a result of too much stress.

Stress turns your life into a mess.

Till next time

Alex

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Resources

(1) (Epel et al., 2000, Epel, E. S., McEwan, B., Seeman, T., Matthews, K., Castellazzo, G., Brownell, K. D., et al. (2000)

(2) (Bjorntorp & Rosmond, 1999; Sephton & Speigel, 2003; Heijnen & Kavelaars, 2005)

Bjorntorp, P., & Rosmond, R. (1999). Hypothalamic origin of the Metabolic Syndrome X. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 892, 297–307
Sephton, S. E., & Speigel, D. (2003). Circadian disruption in cancer: A neuroendocrine-immune pathway from stress to disease. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 17, 321–328.
Heijnen, C. J., & Kavelaars, A. (2005). Psychoneuroimmunology and chronic autoimmune diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis. In K. Vedhara & M. Irwin (Eds.), Human psychoneuroimmunology (pp. 195–218). New York: Oxford University Press.

(3)http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01948370

(4) (L.E. Kreuz, R.M. Rose and J.R. Jennings, Archs gen. Psychiat. 26, 479 (1972).)

(5)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25012

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