2020 has been a challenging year and as a result, most of us are living with a higher amount of stress than usual. At the same time, this year is showing us just how resilient we are, and just how capable we humans are of adapting.
In order to help us all thrive, rather than just survive in this new reality, over the past month we’ve been talking a lot about stress. We have learned the emotional and physical signs of stress and why it’s called the silent killer, as well as the impact it has on the brain.
The final piece we want to cover, discusses the long term implications of stress. At this point we know that stress is harmful, but just how harmful are we talking, and what can we do to help mitigate its effects?
How is Long-term Stress Different from Acute Stress?
The problem with long-term stress, that makes it more extreme than acute stress, is that the body never gets a signal that it’s time to return to it’s normal functioning, so it doesn’t. Over time, that same response that helped the body survive during acute stress, begins to wreak havoc on the systems of the body. This can lead to a host of health conditions, that decrease quality of life, and can ultimately result in a shorter life-span.
Increases Memory Loss
In a study done by Ohio State University, researchers found a relationship between prolonged stress and the hippocampus—the area of the brain dedicated to emotional response and memory – in mice. When stress becomes chronic and is sustained over a long period, the memory becomes impaired. Naturally, this leads us to question if it has any effect on Alzheimer’s. A study funded by Alzheimer’s Society is examining whether long-term stress increases the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease. Clive Holmes, the lead researcher says, “Our investigations show that prolonged stress does appear to have an effect on progression to dementia, in mild cognitive impairment.”
Drives Cancer Progression
Stress levels can influence the spread of cancer in the body. One study, published in Nature magazine, found that stress hormones helped the spread of cancer, by increasing the number of lymphatic vessels draining from a tumor, along with the flow in existing vessels. At this stage, science is not sure whether long-term chronic stress actually causes cancer, but scientists are sure that it helps to drive the spread of cancer in the body.
Higher Risk of Heart Attack
In a study done on the brain scans of 293 patients, scientists found that high activity in the amygdala, the stress center of the brain, was associated with higher arterial inflammation, which is a predictor of heart attack.
Can CBD Help?
Fundamentally, if you live a high-stress life, it’s important you take action to decrease your stress levels, as well as your body’s response to perceived stress. With the latter, CBD may help. Check out this blog for more detail on the science behind it, and if you’re ready to dive in, the best product to get you started is our 100% all-natural CBD Vape. It helps to reduce stress, assists with sleep, relieves aches and pains, and boosts your focus. Taking small steps to create lifestyle changes will help increase your quality and length of life.
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.