The Real Impact of Pandemic-Related Stress and Anxiety – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 206
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH.
Now that we are officially a good eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are starting to have more discussions about the overall impact this is having on one’s mental health. There’s been a whole slew of scientific research studies just in the last month looking at the implications of the stress and anxiety that has been associated with this. I want to talk about what you can be doing during this time because this pandemic is still with us. We are not over the hump and now we are starting to move into normal cold and flu season on top of still having the concerns with COVID-19. I want to get into the heart of stress and really look at how this can have a really negative effect on our overall mental well-being, clarity, cognition, everything in totality, but also look at just a general sense of some of the new scientific research that’s out there discussing the implications of anxiety and stress that are associated with the pandemic.
So many people are feeling the effects of stress. So many people are still working from home and not having the same social interactions. For students, maybe this was your first year going off to college and everything has been kind of turned upside down because of different protocols and following different local and state guidelines when it comes to mitigation techniques. This can really start to take a toll and you hear more and more about it in terms of how people are feeling. People are getting, as they’re saying, the “COVID fatigue,” but we can’t let our guard down in the same sense and try and think we can go about normal life because this is still out there. We are seeing the real impact as a society in terms of the people who are still being heavily affected and there’s still significant loss of life. This is weighing on many people and it’s important to know why we need to be able to manage our stress and how we can actually avoid stress. We know that stress does so much damage to our body.
We know that there are multiple pathways in which stress really has a grip on how we feel. We can look at that hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and how that impacts our immune system. We know that the biochemical effects of stress are very complicated and are wide-scoping throughout the body, but we know that cortisol is our primary stress hormone and we can see issues that arise within the adrenals. We know that different neurotransmitters are impacted based off of our levels of stress, which is why we look at things like GABA, and when we do not have adequate GABA being released, this can play a role in terms of feeling anxious. These are the things that we want to be able to focus in on. We know that if our serotonin and GABA levels are kind of all thrown about because of higher levels of stress and anxiety, this will have a lasting effect on our overall sense of well-being.
We can look at blood glucose levels right now maybe because of stress, or maybe low mood, because you’re not eating properly and we’re having this glucose-insulin imbalance, which in turn has an even greater impact when it comes to adrenal dysfunction.
For more information about how pandemic-related stress could be impacting your body, tune into the full podcast episode.
What can we be doing to manage our stress levels?
We certainly know that there are many different nutrients out there that can help to offset the negative impact of stress. We can look at things such as L-Theanine, which is a powerful amino acid that is sourced from green tea and we know that that plays a really critical role when it comes to the body’s natural release of GABA, that calming neurotransmitter. We have these bits of science that we know that things from nature can be beneficial. We can look at adrenal support with things such as Rhodiola and Ashwagandha, these adrenal adaptogenic herbs that can create an awful lot of balance within the body.
There’s one thing in particular I often like to turn people’s attention to and this is our Ribose Complex. D-Ribose is a very important sugar that is found in the body and it is different from other sugars in the sense that it is not impacting our blood glucose levels. This is important to keep in mind because oftentimes, when we think of sugar, we just think of how it will impact our blood sugar. D-Ribose is required by the body in terms of energy production. When we look at areas that have high energy demand, we think about our heart, brain, and skeletal muscles. D-Ribose has been shown to be very effective when we look at stress. When we’re under stress, sometimes the mitochondria, the little energy maker within the cell, loses its ability to properly produce adenosine triphosphate. So our Ribose Complex is this really great blend. It contains the D-Ribose, but it also has Acetyl-L-Carnitine, which is really good for brain health and mental clarity. It also contains dimethylglycine, which is required for over 40 different processes in the body and is a precursor for the manufacturing of glutathione.
Learn more about nutrients that can help support a healthy stress response by tuning into the full podcast episode.
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