Stress can be defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. Take care on how you respond to demands or pressures that you experience from time to time especially too much work, money issues like losses or debt, disappointments in relationships and illness. Symptoms may include irritability, difficulty sleeping or relaxing, headaches and muscle tension.
Stress that is not controlled and continues for a long period of time can cause a number of psychological and physical symptoms. Some of the symptoms of stress include:
Sleep disturbances, Difficulty concentrating, Lack of confidence, Depression, Difficulty relaxing, Difficulty with decision making, Irritability, Tearfulness, Muscle tension and pain, Low energy, Headaches, Nervous twitches or muscle spasms , Changes in appetite, Decreased sexual function, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
Stress management and relief
Developing strategies to recognize and deal with stress can prevent or reduce its negative effects. There are many approaches to managing, relieving or coping with stress. These include exercise, dietary changes, relaxation, stress management courses, counseling and medications.
Diet and exercise can play an important role in the relief of stress. Eat a balanced diet and avoid foods that may increase tension eg: coffee, tea.
Exercise helps to release built up tension and increases fitness. This, in turn, increases the body’s ability to deal with stress and helps to avoid the damage to our health that prolonged stress can cause. It is recommended that exercise be undertaken at least three times per week to be of most benefit. If you are not used to exercise, discuss this with a doctor prior to commencing an exercise programme.
Relaxation is an effective way to help reduce muscle tension associated with stress. There are many different relaxation techniques eg: sports, day off, meditation and massage. Some people find that simply taking “time out” during the day or after a stressful situation is sufficient to reduce stress levels.
Discussing concerns with an impartial person may assist with recognizing stressors and deciding upon strategies to deal with them. This does not necessarily need to be a professional therapist but may be a trusted family member, friend or colleague. Often the process of discussing a concern is enough to alleviate the stress it is causing. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness. Knowing when to ask for help may be one of the changes necessary to deal with stress more appropriately.
Some people find therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine and aromatherapy effective in both preventing and relieving stress.
In severe cases of stress, medication may be prescribed to treat some of the symptoms caused by stress. Medication should only be considered as a short-term treatment and should be strictly monitored by the prescribing doctor.
Burning pain is the most common peptic ulcer symptom. The pain is caused by the ulcer and is aggravated by stomach acid coming in contact with the ulcerated area. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of ulcers may:
- Be felt anywhere from your navel up to your breastbone
- Be worse when your stomach is empty
- Flare-up at night
- Often be temporarily relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an acid-reducing medication
- Disappear and then return for a few days or weeks
The Ulcer Diet
Here are the top foods to consume as part of an ulcer diet for fast relief:
Small meals – Eat several meals per day to reduce the burden on the digestive system and relieve ulcer symptoms.
High fiber foods – An increase in fiber can repair ulcers, aim for 30 grams per day.
Green leafy vegetables – These vegetables provide Vitamin K that can help repair damage caused by too much stomach acid.
Cabbage juice – Has been shown to heal ulcers, can be diluted with some carrot juice for additional benefits. Check out this GI healing juice.
Fermented foods. Good bacteria in the gut can help prevent H. pylori infection. Add kimchi, kefir, or unsweetened yogurt to your diet.
Ulcer Foods to Avoid
Spicy foods – Can irritate ulcers.
Caffeine – Coffee and certain teas can make ulcers worse.
Alcohol – May actually trigger ulcers.
Any potential allergen – Food allergies can cause ulcers or make them worse.
Sugar – Can feed bad bacteria and make ulcers worse.
Top 5 Natural Ulcer Remedies
#1 Licorice root (500 mg before meals)
Can help stimulate regeneration of mucus membranes in the stomach and may help inhibit H. pylori.
#2 Aloe vera (1/4 cup 3x daily)
Helps heal the intestinal lining.
#3 Probiotics (15 billion live organisms 2x daily)
Helps recolonize the digestive tract with healthy bacteria and prevent infection.
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