There are few patient encounters in which I’m not, in one way or another, describing the effects of chronic stress on our bodies. Sometimes I spend a few minutes on the issue, and sometimes I may go more in depth (especially if I’m going over a salivary evaluation of cortisol and DHEA). We’ve just extensively revised a two-page handout entitled “Effects of Chronic Stress” that visual depicts these effects, overviews some of the common chronic stressors, and outlines various strategies to decrease those stressors. I am finding this a useful adjunct for when I have these conversations with patients.
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