Thursday, February 19, 2009

STRESS... and a health quiz

The Scream by Edvard Munch
The Scream

This may never happen in your home. You may not have four children, but don't all women have at least four things competing for their attention at a time? I think our demanding lifestyle is universal.

Picture this with me: You are in the middle of cleaning up a large mess from breakfast and meal prep for the day. Four children are supposed to be brushing their teeth and getting started with school. One can't find her toothbrush. It might be in the book basket where she left it last night. Since she is just a baby she can't very sweetly ask for help. She hollars for anyone who will hear. The second brushes his teeth in five seconds flat and somehow has roped his sister on the way to get his math book. He hollars in excitement because of the prize he's caught. The third can't brush her teeth because she's been roped. She doesn't want anyone to keep her from obeying mommy. More hollaring. The fourth is so happy to be alive she bounces out of the bathroom and whaps her head on the door frame. More hollaring. So, we've got a desperate hollar, a cowboy triumph hollar, an I'm-Offended hollar and a truly-in-pain hollar. What does mom do?

If it was your house, what would you do? Can anyone really address all four hollars AT THE SAME MOMENT IN TIME??? Even if I don't know what your reaction would be, I can tell you what is happening inside your body. Stress is mounting. As your body elevates blood pressure, pulse rate and certain endocrine activities in preparation for what is to come, it also suppresses the peripheral body systems like your immune system and digestive system. This is an oversimplification; I don't think everyone wants to read all the specifics right now. Suffice it to say that your body is reved up.

Did you know that the reving up takes extra nutrients? Yep. Sure does. Especially B Complex. The B vitamins are water soluble and are consumed quickly when the body responds to stress. You can respond peaceably. You can respond in frustration. But your body is still reving up. And your body will totally consume a day's supply of B Complex in about fifteen minutes of extreme stress. Without B Complex, your body will have difficulty regaining it's normal function again. Thus, chronically stressed people can experience heart palpitations, fatigue similar to anemia, chronic infections and heart disease.

Remember, this is a former Walking-B-Vitamin-Deficiency speaking here. If you haven't yet, you can read my story here. I could write forever about the wonders of B Complex. And soon I will write about how to read labels and chose the best B Complex supplement. But, I can't let this one post become an e-book. So...

Let's take a Health Quiz!
Remember, this is not a medical diagnosis. This is simply a fun way to look at how a B Vitamin Deficiency presents itself. Once again, I am not a medical practitioner : )

Score yourself on each of these symptoms associated with B Vitamins. Give yourself a 0 if you never experience the symptom; a 1 if you experience it seldom; a 2 if you experience it regularly; and a 3 if you experience it often. Ready?

___I can never get enough sleep! Even when I sleep 8 hours, I am still fatigued.
___I crave sweets.
___I rely on caffeine.
___I experience headaches.
___I face a lot of daily stress.
___I experience PMS.
___Apart from my monthly cycle, I experience mood swings and am easily irritated.
___I have a rapid heartbeat and/or experience heart palpitations.
___I have ridges in my nails.
___I have skin problems and/or experience hair loss.

Like I said, B Complex deficiency can present itself in an abundance of different ways. I simply picked ten of the forty or so symptoms people have associated with Bs. These symptoms are commonly alleviated by the addition of a B Complex supplement.

Total up your score:
0-7 You're doing great! Give thanks!
8-15 You show some symptoms of B Vitamin Deficiency. Since this is a super-simplified quiz, you may want to do a bit more reading to see if you display other symptoms.
16-24 Hmmm. Sounds probable that you could benefit from extra B Complex.

25-30 Symptoms are signals that our bodies are experiencing distress. Definitely look further into this topic. Feel free to email me for sources that might be beneficial.

Photo Credit:


noel2momof3 said...

Between the toothbrushing-roping-hollaring-vitamin losing-cortisol gaining; it's amazing any of us make it to lunch. I just love mornings.. By the way, I need to buy some vitamin B or a multivitamin from you, don't let me forget to ask you about that next time I see you!

Mama Krit said...

Great post, thanks!
Is it possible to NOT have stress? Is there a secret method to preventing the hollering and sister roping?

Jenn said...

I find it a bit discombobulating (did I spell that right?) that I have such a high score on your health quiz. I will definitely need to check into this further.

Thanks for the post ... my camo friend!

Mary Woodfin Boggs said...

Enjoyed this post! I think I absorbed MUCH vitamin B last night when my son spilled half a gallon of green paint on my kitchen floor(a few minutes before I was to walk out the door). I responded in laughter...not sure if that falls under frustration or peaceful. :) Surprisingly, I scored kind of low on the test.

Sharon said...

I'm pretty sure I could benefit from some vit B. Thanks for this info.

Melanie and Josh said...

This really doesn't have much to do with the topic of your post at all...but this sisterly memory of the word "hollar" made me smile...
do you remember that back in high school when we were sharing the hall bathroom I would ask you in the mornings to "just hollar when you are done in the bathroom so I can get in" and you would stand just outside my door and whisper "hollar, hollar, hollar, hollar" until I would come out? When I would question what you were doing, you would say "I was else would you hollar?" I guess not being born in the South, you weren't accustomed to the word...but now after all these years, you truly have become a southerner! This memory has stuck with me so much that I even did a word study for an English class in college on "holler" to see if it is a REAL word...and it is! (ps-it won't hurt my feelings at all if you don't choose to "approve" this comment to post since it is so off topic, but I hope the memory made you smile too! You were/are a fun older sibling to have around! :)

Amy Ellen said...

Thanks for your sweet memories, Melanie! You made my day remembering... and yes, I do remember a time when "hollar" was a totally foreign concept to me : )