What Causes Stress?


When writing a problem-solving article, we’re told to start by explaining the problem. But stress isn’t an unknown problem. It may come at you head-on or sneak up from behind. Sometimes you know the cause, but sometimes you don’t.

However it arrives, you recognize it, a less-than-wonderful part of life.

Stress can come from getting stuck in traffic, especially when you’re running late. Not fun, but temporary.

Stress also arises when you’re trying to guide a child who keeps making bad decisions. And worry, not knowing what will happen, and hurt feelings all pile on to ratchet up your stress.

Tax audit stress

But sometimes stress seems to come out of nowhere.

Years ago, I was called in for a tax audit. It wasn’t over a lot of money, and I knew my numbers were honest, so it should have been, at most, an annoyance. I wasn’t worried about it.

But as I spoke with the auditor, my eyes started to leak-the beginning of a stress attack. It looked like crying, but no. It was just leaky eyes.

I explained that leaky eyes was how my body reacted to stress, but the auditor “knew better.” All those tears meant she’d caught me red-handed.

Well, leaky eyes aren’t a good look, and it was embarrassing, especially since crying isn’t part of my normal behavior. And trying to explain I wasn’t really crying was a waste of time.

Meanwhile, the auditor dug in to prove I was a cheat. I finally requested a different auditor, and while I didn’t enjoy the months-long journey, it ended well.

Back then, I had no idea why my eyes leaked, but now I know. So I’ll tell you: If stress are you, consider your adrenal glands.

Adrenals and stress

Adrenals are volatile, cranky members of Team Endocrine, and when they go south, there’s no telling what will happen. You won’t enjoy it, but you sure will notice it.

We’re told that adrenal problems show up when we create too much cortisol, and yeah, that’s true, but not enough cortisol creates a whole lot more drama and suffering than too much.

However, medicine says there’s no such thing as not enough cortisol, which is called adrenal fatigue or, sometimes, adrenal exhaustion. Most doctors don’t believe in it, don’t look for it, don’t find it, and don’t treat it. Sigh.

Many roads lead to adrenal fatigue. I was put on the road by the drunk driver who hit my parents’ car when I was a baby, causing a concussion. PTSD is another path. Autism. Poor diet. Abuse. And on, and on.

You may never know how your adrenals got into trouble, but you can count on them to share their unhappiness with you. It’s the only way they know to ask for help.

Stress and sleep

A few clues that point to adrenal problems

Stress affects how you sleep. You may experience poor, shallow, off-and-on sleep or you may sleep as if you’re in a coma. In either case, sleep will not be refreshing, and getting up in the morning won’t be a perky, rise-and-shine kind of event.

Struggling adrenals may send you on frequent trips to the bathroom, night and day. And you may not always get there in time.

When allergies keep inviting more and more relatives to move in, think adrenals.

And if your brain keeps wandering off, be sure to check your adrenals.

Also, if you throw up too much. If a lot of your hair left town. Etc.

In fact, if you have any health hiccups that don’t seem to have an answer, think adrenals.

You might want to read about my Moving to Health program (link below), especially the experiences of customers, and see if it sounds like a fit for where you are.

Dealing With Unexplained Stress

Sources of Stress

The Amazing Endocrine System

God is good,

Bette Dowdell   
Too Pooped to Participate

Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved

P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.

Bette Dowdell

Bette Dowdell writes about taking control of your own health because that's the only choice life gave her.

Latest posts by Bette Dowdell (see all)

Bette Dowdell

Bette Dowdell writes about taking control of your own health because that's the only choice life gave her.

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