Running in the Rat Race?

Running in the rat race? Ask God to help you reorganize priorities and find a healthy equilibrium if you suffer any of these warning signs:

Brownouts. Your life seems dimmer (if not blacked-out) because your power level is on overload. You're increasingly forgetful, complaining, depressed, or exhausted.

No fun allowed. Relaxation is counterproductive. Your worth depends on your achievements, and there's] always one more thing to accomplish. Time off would just prevent you from getting important work done.

Impatience. You always feel like you're behind, but you believe you do better with a hurried, stressful lifestyle. Your deadlines are unrealistic and you seek shortcuts. You live by your watch and make hasty decisions.

Perfectionism. You push yourself constantly and evaluate yourself ruthlessly. You hate to lower your standards. Secretly, you fear failure and rejection, which makes you critical. Your life consists of many "should"s.

Losing your first love. Your work takes precedence over your spiritual life, which seems dry and strained. Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, and witnessing are hard.

Strained relationships. You stay so busy that you have no time for others. Workaholism isolates you, or makes you difficult to communicate with. Today's accomplishments dull the pain of your past problems.

The following artical demonstrates how stress can alter our bodies. Fibromyalgia is one medical condition that can be triggered & worsened by stress if you have predisposition for it. There are apparent abnormalities which are present but may not cause problems unless triggered.

Is fibromyalgia a neurologic disease?

Journal: Curr Pain Headache Rep 2002 Apr;6(2):106-14

Authors: Bradley LA, McKendree-Smith NL, Alarcon GS, Cianfrini LR.

Affiliation: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, 475 Boshell Diabetes Building, 1808 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.

NLM Citation: PMID: 11872181

Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by abnormal pain sensitivity in response to diverse stimuli as well as persistent widespread pain and other symptoms such as fatigue and sleep disturbance. Progress has been made in identifying factors that contribute to the etiopathogenesis of abnormal pain sensitivity, but there is no single model of pathophysiology or treatment of FM that has gained wide acceptance among health care professionals.

We review the literature on the etiopathogenesis of abnormal pain sensitivity in FM and describe an explanatory model that serves as a source of testable hypotheses in our laboratory. This model posits that interactions of exogenous (eg, environmental stressors) and endogenous (eg, neuroendocrine dysfunction) abnormalities in genetically predisposed individuals lead to a final common pathway, ie, alterations in central nervous system function and neuropeptide production that underlie central sensitization and abnormal pain sensitivity.

This model also suggests that efforts to develop and evaluate treatments for FM should focus on interventions with direct or indirect effects on central functions that influence pain sensitivity.

Other conditions triggered & worsened by chronic stress
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Links

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders "Most individuals are surprised to learn they are not alone with symptoms of IBS. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects approximately 10–20% of the general population. It is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in medical treatment of disorders of the stomach and intestines) and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse "Symptoms of IBS:Abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort are the main symptoms of IBS. However, symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people have constipation, which means hard, difficult-to-pass, or infrequent bowel movements. Often these people report straining and cramping when trying to have a bowel movement but cannot eliminate any stool, or they are able to eliminate only a small amount. If they are able to have a bowel movement, there may be mucus in it, which is a fluid that moistens and protect passages in the digestive system. Some people with IBS experience diarrhea, which is frequent, loose, watery, stools. People with diarrhea frequently feel an urgent and uncontrollable need to have a bowel movement. Other people with IBS alternate between constipation and diarrhea. Sometimes people find that their symptoms subside for a few months and then return, while others report a constant worsening of symptoms over time."

Gastro-Surgi Center of New Jersey "Irritable Bowel Syndrome:This condition is perhaps the most common disorder seen by the gastroenterologist. IBS is a "functional" disorder, which means there is abnormal behavior of the intestine without any organic disease. The cause of IBS is unknown, but certain inciting factors are well established. Stress is the most common, leading to tightening and spasm in the intestinal muscles. Patients may feel cramps, bloating, urgency to defecate, nausea, or increased need to pass gas. In others, these symptoms may be precipitated by certain foods, especially dairy products, raw fruits and vegetables, or coffee. Women with IBS may have more symptoms in the week before menstruation and during menopause.
IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion. All other conditions that may cause similar symptoms must be ruled out. Crohn’s disease, colitis, diverticulosis, and colon cancer at times present with symptoms similar to IBS. Patients may therefore require blood tests, stool analysis, and x-ray or endoscopic studies before a diagnosis of IBS can be assured.
Fortunately, IBS is not life-threatening. Treatment may require dietary adjustments, stress management, or antispasmodic medications."

Want to know what to do about burnout?