Physical Manifestations of Stress…


… I knew, obviously that when people get stressed they get a bit down, tetchy and not their normal selves.

What I did not know until fairly recently, was that stress can manifest itself physically.

When my skin is bad, I have been told by doctors for years that it’s just that – bad skin.

It was only when my periods stopped last summer did I relate my skin problems to stress.

I had been under an enormous amount of stress last summer – basically I just let everything get on top of me, so to speak.

And I missed 2 periods.

Clearly, it was not a pregnancy – unless, as I told the lady in the health shop , it was the second coming of Christ!

My mother (bless her) always the merchant of doom said in a cheery voice, “Oh, it’s probably the start of the menopause, I started mine around your age!”

Bearing in mind, I had no other ‘menopausal symptoms’ I quickly ruled that one out (also my O&G doctor had said the same earlier in the year, when I had missed another period, just before my annual MOT).

So, I did what everyone else does and googled.

It would appear that abnormal amounts of stress can produce physical symptoms and in women this explain the absence of periods, and for both sexes it would appear skin can ‘break out’ in hives!

For the regulation of the menstrual cycle a lot of sites suggested taking Chaste extract – YUK! It’s vile, smells vile, tastes vile. Not sure if that’s what kick-started the periods, but only took it for 10 days, so am thinking probably not.

After the period of severe stress abated, the periods returned, albeit very weirdly. But bearing in mind it had been almost 3 months since I had had one, I thought nothing of it. (The MoD (Merchant of Doom) obviously thought otherwise, but thankfully I ignored it). They seem to be back to normal (cross fingers).

With the levels of stress returning to their normal state of affairs in my life, I could turn my attention to my skin. I know when I’m stressed, because my skin itches.

The lovely lady in the health shop (and yes, I do have a discount card) suggested that for stress I should take a vitamin b complex, which is very good for it. Obviously, she clarified that the vitamin would only help with the symptoms, not the actually cause of the stress, that I have to deal with on my own (if only I had a genie with a magic lamp or bottle).

I have been taking these tablets for nearly a month – the skin is definitely less itchy, which is a good sign and the tablets are suitable for vegans, I have checked the ingredients and there are no obvious nasties.

There is only one slight, rather amusing, side effect – they turn your urine bright yellow!

That’s right, bright yellow, literally the colour of saffron/turmeric (and no those aren’t listed in the ingredients).

I certainly did not realise stress can cause physical symptoms – I do now.

Think I need a month on a yoga/meditation retreat … if only 😉

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