The Effects of Stress are No Laughing Matter, They’re No Joke at All

We all know the effects of stress are serious. We have exactly two choices — get stress under control or get sick and stay sick.

Anyway you slice it, the facts are plain. The effects of stress are wreaking havoc in our lives and what is the point of living longer if we are sick all the time?

The reality is that, there are serious illnesses out there that happen as the direct effects of stress. These become 10 times worse by allowing chronic stress to rule the day. Basically, the effects of stress can kill you.

Stress & Chronic Degenerative Disease: A Personal Story of My Fight with Asthma

I believe my own story will illustrate the point very clearly.

You see, I am an Asthmatic. In 2002, I had to call an ambulance for myself in the middle of the night because I couldn’t get air.


Growing up, chronic bronchitis and other lung challenges defined my world, but those years were nothing like this. The cause of this new and much more dramatic and life-threatening version of my problem was very much a mystery.

I survived, of course, and then I began to do research about asthma and the effects of stress.  I learned that so many things had come together in my life to make me really sick.  Part of it was diet, for sure… I was eating all the wrong foods; however, the biggest problem was my stress level.

It was off the map, out of control. Something needed to be done.

My Discovery

Interestingly, my biggest discovery was that my memories of the long-lasting and unresolved traumas I faced in childhood seemed to be stored in my central nervous system as repressed emotions. Crazy huh? And apparently, these destructive repressed emotions were continually causing my body to produce dangerous free radicals every day.

These over-produced free radicals were causing significant free radical damage (oxidative stress) at the cellular level of my body. This fact, of course, is the key factor that leads to serious chronic degenerative disease, such as Asthma. In terms of the effects of stress, this one came as a big surprise and it took me quite awhile to even understand it and believe it could be true.

On the Advice of My Doctors…

The doctors told me that I would have to use steroid puffers every day for the rest of my life.  Lots of people can afford to buy the drugs that doctors recommend, but I couldn’t because I was self-employed and didn’t have a drug benefit plan.  Just one of those puffers cost $150 per month and I don’t know many people that can afford $1800 a year for medication.

This was especially true since the problem was not going to be going away, it was just going to be managed.  In addition, the side effects from these medications were huge.  No, I needed to find a better solution than this.  Even if I could afford the drugs, it really didn’t seem like a good solution.

It took me six years to get my life back under control and guess what? No serious asthma attack since 2012!! Woohoo!! And actually, in 2012, while I did have a fairly bad attack in January, that was the only one since early 2008. In fact, I haven’t even had a serious cold or flu in that time.  And no drugs either.  No more puffers of any kind.

No Miracles Here!

Now, don’t get me wrong, this problem did not easily go away.  I was still very sick every winter for five more years.  My type of Asthma is known as cough-variant, viral-induced Asthma. Basically, this means that cold and flu season and me didn’t get along very well. Whenever we would go in the ring together (when I caught viruses), I would usually lose the fight. For me, the effects of stress (my attacks) lasted 12-15 weeks every year.  One winter, I even coughed so hard I nearly broke a rib.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different, and I certainly don’t recommend you throw your puffers out tomorrow.  I just mean that reducing stress, releasing destructive repressed emotion, and taking back control of your life can change things for you. You will be able to make far better decisions. When you’re making better decisions about your health, then you may be able to reduce or eliminate your dependency on drugs and increase your quality of life. It has taken an immense amount of work for me, but it was also more than worth it.

So, what disease either controls you now or threatens to control you and what will you do to fix the mess?

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