HIS STRESS IS NOT HER STRESS

Updated: Feb 8



I LOVE the topic of stress...one of my areas of expertise on which I have written, spoken, and taught extensively.

One topic within this arena that I find absolutely fascinating is the many different factors that affect the stress response...

...and one of the major factors is our GENDER!

The stress response systems are set very differently in men versus women. It is believed that Mother Nature designed us this way because females must give birth and nurture their young to ensure survival.

In general:

1. Women are more sensitive to the effects of stress

2. Women have higher baseline cortisol levels

3. Women suffer more symptoms from stress

4. The adrenal glands of women are more sensitive to hormones in the brain that tell the adrenal glands to make cortisol (ACTH)

TO FURTHER COMPLICATE MATTERS...In women, menstrual status also affects the stress response!

1. Women who don't ovulate don't make as much progesterone, and you need progesterone to make cortisol.

2. Menopausal women have lower baseline cortisol than premenopausal women

So, since we can't change our gender, HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THIS NATURAL VULNERABILITY??

1. Sleep

2. Stress reduction techniques (meditation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, etc.)

3. Proper nutrition

4. Maintenance of a healthy body weight

5. PROPERLY dosed and monitored hormone replacement if indicated

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