AFH Stress Recovery Part 1

Introduction: We all have stress

Hi it’s doctor Jeffrey mark. Today I’d like to talk to you about stress and our stress recovery program. Many people have stress because change always happens around us either changing the seasons, workplace changes, or changes in our families. All these can be positive or negative stressors, but we have a program that helps people go through stressful changes and recover and develop resilience from stress.


The Hamster Wheel of Stress leads to chronic health problems

So many of us experience this hamster wheel of stress where stress may initially give us energy, and we may have a good response from stress which we need some, but over time, can wear us down and cause chronic issues. These chronic issues can cause health problems, such as those listed here:  including decreased concentration, brain fog, affecting a memory or sleep, causing muscle aches causing dysregulation. of our blood sugars and maybe even causing diabetes in the long run. It can affect our weight, and it can cause irritations in our gastrointestinal tract and accelerate aging.


How to determine if you have excessive stress?

So how do you know that stress is affecting your life excessively? If you can answer any of these questions, such as feeling overwhelmed, getting angry more easily, having mental fatigue, if you’ve been gaining weight, especially around the middle, feeling sleepy in the middle of the day,  having trouble concentrating., craving certain foods like sweets that are not good for you. libdo issues , constantly being irritated, easily restless and agitated. If you have to rely on caffeine to get you to make it through the day, or drinking alcohol to slow you down at night to relieve the stress, or develop aches and pains you never had before. All these things may indicate that stress is becoming overwhelming in your life. So if you identify one or two of these statements, you’re probably less adaptive to stress. And if you have three or four of these things, you probably are getting overwhelmed and stress is impacting your life significantly.


The four root causes of stress

You need to address the four root causes of stress, which our stress recovery program does. These four categories that are root causes of stress include mental emotional stress, blood sugar issues, insomnia, sleep issues, and inflammation.


Today’s Stress Topics

The discussion today is part one, giving an overview of our stress recovery program. We’ll be mentioning briefly the mental and emotional stress and also the blood sugar imbalance as well. And in later installments, we’ll discuss the sleep and inflammatory imbalance and other aspects of mental and emotional stress.


AFH Stress Recovery Program: It’s also anti-aging!

The stress recovery program involves all these areas that we address in a personalized program. Most people through dietary changes and lifestyle can have a significant impact on reducing stress. But some need more help, especially if there’s already a baseline of elevated blood sugar. They may need supplements and peptides to try to get the balance back and then keep that balance as a maintenance lifestyle and diet. So the AFH stress recovery program is personalized. As I mentioned, each person’s response to stress is unique and fairly complicated. So this program provides the tools that are necessary to help people have resilience and flexibility in dealing with stressful situations and help to restore the balance. It is also anti-aging in that stress accelerates aging.


The Stress Inventory Test: How significant is your stress

So how significant is your stress? We did go through some basic questions but you can also do a stress inventory test. You can request a copy by emailing This can be used to calculate the events that influenced the amount of stress you experience.


Stress and the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis or HPA

So there’s a mental aspect of stress, and that involves the HPA or hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. And this is a diagram of how things work which we go in depth in explaining in the program. Essentially, stress activates the hypothalamus and this kicks off the pituitary gland to release ACTH and this kicks off an adrenal response.


Neurotransmitters and the gut connection

There are neurotransmitters that help keep us in balance. So cortisol from the adrenal gland is one of our stress hormones. epinephrine and norepinephrine play a role in the fight and flight response. The calming type of neurotransmitters include DHEA, and serotonin, 90% of which come from the gastrointestinal tract, and GABA.


Labs with hormones and neurotransmitters: Measure and track the problem

In order to help determine the imbalance, we can do laboratory testing as well. We do four point salivary cortisol testing, and we can also look at hormones and neurotransmitters as we showed on the last slide in the AFH Stress Reduction Program.


Stress and Sugar imbalance

Let’s talk about blood sugar imbalance. How might you know that you have some blood sugar imbalance? Well, if you ever get any dizziness or shakiness or brain fog after meals, you may represent a drop in blood sugar. If you frequently delay or miss meals, if you have frequent cravings for sugar or carbohydrates if you do consume quite a bit of sugar or refined carbohydrates, if you have diabetes or prediabetes if you consume alcohol or caffeine on a regular basis, and a fair amount and if you tend to consume food within two hours before bedtime. All these things may point to a sugar or blood sugar imbalance. Spiking sugar levels are followed by deep valleys of low sugar. Low sugars stress the body.


Helpful suggestions to keep blood sugar in balance

Here are some suggestions to help you take control of your blood sugar. Initially, have a balanced breakfast every morning.  Consume balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. You want to be able to have a good mix of protein carbohydrates, fats, meals, snacks, you want to avoid the simple sugars and carbohydrates. You want to have protein at almost every meal and consume more fish, preferably three ounces two times a week. Get lots of fiber and fiber rich foods. Try to avoid saturated fats, or other types of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils or hydrogenated oils. You should be eating good sources of fats. You should limit starchy vegetables. You should be taking a lot of fluid and 64 ounces of fluid for most people daily. You want to avoid sweeteners. Exercise regularly.


Supplements, fiber, and Peptides to the rescue

If after addressing these issues still results in imbalance of blood sugars, you need nutrients and extracts like the Oregon grapeseed BerBeMax and  concentrated natural soluble and insoluble fibers such as those found in Fiber 365 or peptides for those overweight and unable to lose weight and have significant insulin resistance.


Glycemic Index tables and other resources in the AFH Stress Recovery Program

We have a lot of resources in the AFH stress recovery program, including a handbook. In this handbook we do provide support materials such as glycemic index lists, as this is shown to you here. This breaks down categories of foods and what are low glycemic foods and high glycemic foods. So for instance, low glycemic foods are 100% grains and breads. And high glycemic foods include bagels, white bread, white rolls, and any kind of white flour. So basically to avoid anything that’s round and white. If you see the list here of sweeteners, natural ones that are low glycemic, including stevia, xylitol, agave nectar, and those that are not recommended are artificial sucralose Splenda, and aspirin. And of course, white sugar has very high glycemic foods that raise your blood sugar quite rapidly.


Conclusions and future discussions

So this concludes the first part of the AFH stress recovery program. Again, we try to address the root causes for this hamster wheel of stress. We’ve covered some of the aspects of mental and emotional stress, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, and we’ve talked a little bit about blood sugar imbalance. And in future discussions, we’ll talk about sleep cycle disturbances, inflammatory imbalance and further information on mental emotional stress, including the use of supplements, nutrients and peptides. So the AFH stress recovery program is just one of the programs that we use to help people. So contact us for more information. We’ve helped thousands of people on their journey of health and we look forward to helping you as well. So take care and stay healthy.

Jeffrey Mark, M.D.


Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 5 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, anti-aging/ regenerative medicine, and obesity medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM, ABOM.