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When Women Are Chronically Stressed; Why Community is the Medicine Women Need

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

When women are chronically stressed, everything is affected. Everything within and around her world is impacted. Stress isn’t just a temporary physical response like heart racing, overwhelm, dry mouth, pupils dilating and increased body heat.

Here’s what happens to women’s bodies and their lives when they are chronically stressed and how the connection with others and community support becomes so critical for healing. 

Symptoms of Chronic Stress:

  1. Difficulty Staying/Falling Asleep

  2. Erratic Energy – roller coaster of moderate to low energy

  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  4. Stomach and Intestinal pain; Ulcers

  5. Malabsorption of Nutrients; Malnourishment

  6. Intestinal Permeability (“leaky gut syndrome”)

  7. Elevated Blood Pressure

  8. Heart Arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm)

  9. Increased Risk for Heart Disease/Attack

  10. Chronic Anxiety

  11. Chronic Depression

  12. Mood Swings: Irritability, Impatience, Tearfulness

  13. Headaches

  14. Muscle Aches & Fibromyalgia

  15. Carbohydrate & Refined Sugar Cravings

  16. Insulin Resistance & Pre-Diabetes

  17. ​​​​​​​Weight Gain: i.e. Abdominal Fat

  18. Premature Skin Aging: dryness, wrinkles, dark circles under eyes

  19. Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne Flare ups

  20. Immune System Suppression and/or Autoimmune Disorders

  21. ​​​​​​​Greater Sickness Susceptibility: getting/staying sick for longer periods

  22. Hypothyroidism

  23. Infertility

  24. Hormone Imbalance (reduced progesterone)

  25. Irregular or Skipping menstrual periods

  26. Heavier Menstrual Bleeding

  27. Reduced Libido

  28. Increased Risk Cell Dysfunction/Abnormalities (i.e. Cancer)

  29. Adverse/Stressed Relationships: spouse, partner, children, other family members, friends, coworkers, colleagues, neighbors, people in your community and even strangers (who have no idea what you’re struggling with) will get the brunt of your distressed reactions and responses.

The consequences of chronic stress can be quite serious. Unless you take action to address, alleviate or better manage those stressors, it will take a catabolic (breaking down) toll on your body, your life and those around you. It takes a whole body, root cause functional medicine approach to heal (or start the healing process) from chronic stress. Part of that whole body approach involves cultivating and nurturing healthy relationships not only with others, but also with yourself. In other words, creating a healthy balance of inter-dependence and independence.

While as humans, we are all social beings, women (generally and presumptively) tend to be a bit more on the communicative and interactive side of “releasing” our feelings of stress to others. In many cases, “others” are usually fellow women in our lives that we trust in confidence.

Of course we release or express our emotions to the men in our lives, but when we have another woman or group of women to confide in where they truly “get us” and understand exactly where we are coming from, it is exponentially SO much better! The listening, the validation, the understanding, the empathy, the compassion, the kindness, the honesty, the simple “presence or ho