Whether it’s chronic pain, financial issues, work stressors, or just getting through quarantine- stress is a fact of life, and as a society, we tend to normalize it.
In an October 2020 survey, the Harris Poll, on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA), found that nearly 4 out of 5 adults (78%) say the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives, while 3 in 5 (60%) are overwhelmed by the number of issues facing the United States, and nearly 1 in 5 adults (19%) say their mental health is worse today than it was at this time last year. Younger generations report a greater impact than older generations.
Self-Reported Worsening of Mental Health by Generation:
· Gen Z adults (born between 1997 and 2012) – 34%
· Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) – 21%
· Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) – 19%
· Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) – 12%
· Older adults (born before 1946) – 8%
Given this information, it is evident that stress affects everyone, regardless of age. Luckily, our bodies have a stress response system in place to help! The “fight or flight” stress response is a normal response to an emergency, flooding hormones like cortisol into the system. This response gives us the energy we need to tackle whatever issue has come up. After the emergency, the body regulates and cortisol levels drop. However, many of us have faced prolonged periods of stress, where the body functions in a constant state of “fight or flight”. You might feel like you are fine and that you are “handling” the stress, but left unchecked, chronic stress may alter the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and cause many issues in the body.
HPA axis dysfunction is associated with a number of conditions, including weight gain, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal and immune dysregulation, blood sugar problems, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue, persistent pain, neurodegenerative disease, and cognitive decline. So how can you tell if stress hormones are causing your symptoms? It’s as simple as an at-home saliva test called, The Adrenal Stress Profile (ASP). The ASP test reveals HPA axis imbalances by measuring both cortisol and DHEA providing direction for clinical interventions such as nutrient support and supplements, stress management, behavioral modification, and lifestyle interventions.
This test is regularly $199 per person, but since April is Stress Awareness Month, we are offering it for just $179 for the entire month! In addition to the test, you will receive a 30-minute complimentary results review with our dietitian or health coach. The Adrenal Stress Profile is not covered by traditional insurance plans, but may be allowed under FSA and HSA accounts.
ASP testing kits can be shipped direct to your home, so don’t wait to take hold of life’s stressors today! You can purchase the Adrenal Stress Profile test here: https://kemper.kartra.com/page/KFf137
-Nikki Gould, RDN, CLT