Today we’re going to talk about stress and cancer. We all know that stress is not good for us. How does that affect us with cancer? Well stress affects our HPA Axis, the Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal Axis. So when we are under just acute stress (we’re not talking about prolonged stress), we make cortisol. And the benefit of cortisol is it can help decrease inflammation. So cortisol is a natural anti-inflammatory. That’s a good thing! Acute stress could be a good thing. But the problem is we don’t have just acute little episodes of stress every few days. We have prolonged stress that goes on all day long, or multiple episodes per day. So that is a totally different story. Prolonged stress does not increase cortisol production.

It ends up being the opposite of that: it decreases cortisol production because our adrenals are stressed out. Our receptors for cortisol are stressed out symptoms, similar to insulin receptor problems in diabetics. So when we can’t have that same response to stress, we end up with prolonged stress that decreases cortisol production and increases inflammation. Inflammation is the enemy to cancer. Prolonged inflammation that isn’t counterbalanced with a good balance of cortisol causes this damage in the HPA Axis, damage in the cells receptors for cortisol, damage in our adrenal function. So our adrenal is are basically worn out with prolonged stress and that adrenal dysfunction does not decrease our inflammation. Bottom line is, we end up with this ramped up inflammation. We have this constant inflammatory process which we could say is often the root of many many of our diseases, not just cancer, constant ramped up inflammation. So what do we do about it? Bottom line, deal with the stress of your life. Find some way as an outlet for your stress. Support your adrenal glands, support your HPA Axis, consider adaptogenic herbs to help keep hormones balanced. You’ll find more of this on our website and on our blogs in our store. Thank you very much, this was your 60 second update.

Stress and Cancer - 60 Second Cancer Update with Dr. Kevin Conners | Conners Clinic