As we wrap up our series on the three types of stress, we’ve come to the type of stress that may be the least obvious on the surface: chemical stress.
Chemical stress is brought upon the body by toxins found in our physical environment and in the things we ingest. This includes the air you breathe, what you put on your skin, and the food, drink, and medications you consume.
Chemical Stressors - What Are They?
There are plenty of ways to be proactive and reduce the amount chemical stress you put upon your body. Here are some areas where you can cut down on your chemical stress:
- Proper Nutrition - Eating a healthy diet consisting of whole, unprocessed foods, plenty of vegetables, and fresh, filtered water are fundamental to reducing chemical stress.
Eating highly processed, refined sugar filled foods, devoid of nutrition and potentially full of unhealthy chemicals adds a significant load to your chemical stress – not to mention can add extra pounds to your body (which adds physical stress).
- Alcohol Use - Yes, it is true that many studies, including those performed by the Mayo clinic, show that drinking ONE glass of red wine can deliver heart healthy resveratrol and antioxidants, but drinking alcohol in excess can be extremely detrimental to your health.
Liver and pancreas diseases, heart problems, and cancers have all been linked to alcohol. Having 2 or more drinks a day on average exponentially increases the chemical stress on your organs.
- Cigarettes - It’s well known that smoking cigarettes is bad for your body. Every time you smoke, you introduce over 4000 harmful chemical compounds into your body. This is some pretty heavy chemical stress that can be avoided by quitting smoking.
- Air Pollution - When most people think of air pollution, smokestacks and car exhausts come to mind. As true as this is, it’s the air indoors that may be even more polluted.
Chemical-based air fresheners, petroleum/paraffin-based candles, household cleaning products, mold, and pesticides are all common pollutants that you may not think about as potentially problematic.
- Physically Applied Chemical Stressors - So far, we’ve discussed the major chemical stressors that affect us by ingesting them, either through eating or breathing them in. Your body can also absorb toxins through the skin.
Lotions and soaps, hair shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, sunscreens, and perfumes/colognes can contain parabens, synthetic colors and fragrances, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, formaldehyde and more.
What Can I Do About Chemical Stress?
Small changes in your everyday life and routine can reduce your chemical stress levels significantly. Choosing whole foods over pre-packaged convenience items, filtered water over diet soda, keeping alcohol use to one glass of red wine a day, stopping smoking, and choosing naturally derived cleaning and health products will help significantly.
Many times, we make poor food choices and turn to alcohol and cigarettes as a way to cope with mental and physical stress – inadvertently adding to our stress load, and creating a bit of a vicious cycle. Chiropractic care can help relax the body through spinal adjustment and therapeutic massage, reducing physical and mental stress, which can make it easier for you to make healthy choices about what you are putting in your body.
The doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center can advise you on the best steps to take to reduce your chemical stress with nutrition recommendations to help you on your journey to wellness. Take the first step by contacting us today to schedule your appointment with our knowledgeable practitioners.