How our stress levels affect our emotions and body functions

in turn allowing the development of Cancer

Stress levels can increase the risk of cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other debilitating sicknesses. We all have read and know the detrimental effects of stress on our emotions and body functions. – Check your Stress level


Treating cancer alternatively reviews the types and levels of stress and the importance of learning to effectively deal with stress.  It is so much more than ignoring and covering up the issues of life that is causing stress.

How does stress affects our body and the development of cancer?


Treating cancer alternatively allows you to review and choose in home treatments and cancer options that will reverse cancer and other debilitating diseases. 


As you think through the stress level checklist and contemplate the changes in your lifestyle, the quality of your life and energy, vitality and focus in your life will change.


There are a multitude of books, websites, and newsletters speaking of stress and how it affects our emotions, the physiology of our body make-up and eventually the quality and quantity of life we will experience.


The goal of this web page is to review the powerful impact of stress.


Regardless of what you do, you have and will experience stress at some time in your life. In a recent survey 89% of respondents described experiencing "high levels of stress".


Impact of Stress

Origins of Stress

The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory

Our Body’s Reaction to Stress

- Alarm Reaction is the first stage

- Resist or adaptation is the second stage

- Exhaust is the third stage

Early warning Signs of Stress

Physical signs and symptoms of stress

Emotional signs and symptoms of stress

Cognigative/Perceptual Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Stress Arousal Stage

Severe Exhaustion Stage

Long Term Implications of Stress

Possible Physical Disorders

Possible Emotional Disorders

Effects of Stress on Systems in the Body

    Central Nervous System

Cardiovascular System

Digestive System

Respite System

Musculoskeletal System

Immune System

Endocrine System

Reproductive System




Every week, 95 million Americans suffer some kind of stress related symptom for which they take medication.


Cancer, depression, suicide, mental disease is at an all time high.


I studied counseling in a Master Degree program. 


Over the years I have studied everything I could put my hands on as I was well aware that I operated under a huge load of stress.


The more I studied, the more things I tried, the darker and bigger the feeling of despair within me. 


I realized that all the talk, the sharing, the doing, the meditating worked for short periods of times but did nothing to heal the hurt and stress that was deep inside of my being.


I was facing divorce, financial ruin, career changes, anger, resentment, and the list could continue.


It is no wonder I struggled with high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and countless other illnesses and sicknesses.  Now I was diagnosed with cancer with a projected limited life span.


I knew all the things I was suppose to do in order to reduce stress, however could not accomplish any of them for any period of time.


Church and repeating bible scriptures did not help.  They only seemed to make me feel more depressed and inept.  People were telling me what to do, however I could not accomplish the task.


I kept trying to push my feelings down deep inside of me and cover them up with fake laughter, smiles, and sense of well-being.


I had to face my stress issues and allow God to heal them.  But how?


This is where Prayers That Heal the Heart DVDs by Mark and Patty Virkler showed me the hows.  These CD’s and prayers taught me how to come into the presence of God and allow Him to remove many of the stressors.


Impact of Stress

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Stress is very expensive. Let's look at the statistics.


Stress is recognized as the number one killer today.


The American Medical Association stated that stress was the cause of 80 to 85 percent of all human illness and disease or at the very least had a detrimental effect on our health.


Every week, 95 million Americans suffer some kind of stress related symptom for which they take medication.


American businesses lose an estimated $200-$300 billion dollars per year to stress related productivity loss and other cost. To put this in perspective, this amount is higher than the total cost related to all strikes and the net profit from all Fortune 500 companies!


The American Institute of Stress in Yonkers, New York, estimates that 90 percent of all visits to doctors are for stress-related disorders.


In women, stress has been linked to fatigue, hair loss, bad complexion, insomnia, disruption of the menstrual cycle, low libido and lack of orgasm, among other symptoms.


Stress speeds up your entire system and produces conditions in younger people that are more commonly associated with growing old.


Virtually no part of your body can escape the ravages of stress.


Studies show that stress can reduce the power of our immune systems increasing the development of cancer cells.


A study in the U.K. exposed 266 people to a common cold virus and then tracked who became sick.


28.6 percent of those with few signs of stress caught the cold.

However, the figure jumped to 42.4 percent for those who were under high stress.


Other studies show that women who have trouble coping with stress may be at risk of building up dangerous abdominal fat.


A study at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, of 42 obese women found that those with abdominal fat (apple shaped) secreted more stress hormones than those who carry extra weight on their hips (pear shaped). It is known that apple-shaped people are more at risk of heart disease.


Stress increases heart rate and blood pressure. It changes the inner lining of our blood vessels, making our blood more likely to clot.


Stress may change the way cholesterol is handled by our blood vessels and, in doing so, may increase plaque formation.


A study of 5,872 pregnant women in Denmark showed that women who are under moderate to high stress in the last trimester are 1.2 to 1.75 times more likely to give birth prematurely.


Origins of Stress

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Stress can often originate from sources we hardly ever associate with it.

Imagine that you just bought your dream car. It is that Jaguar. You had to scrape everything you had to buy it. You wanted to take it for a spin. It is a sunny spring day. You turned the stereo on, the top down and cruise merrily on the interstate. Isn’t life wonderful?


You suddenly hear screeching noises in front. On no! The drivers in front of you are all slamming on their brakes. You see that each car is coming within split seconds of rear ending the one in front.


Within seconds the stress of the situation enters your mind through your eyes and ears. Your mind or brain immediately takes over (Before you can even say Oh No! Not my new car!) The middle and lower part of your brain electrically triggers a massive fight or flight response.


Your legs slam on the brake. You grip the steering wheel and try to straighten it.


Your body dumps sugars and fats into your bloodstream for quick energy and strength.


Other chemicals released by the brain prepare your blood to clot more quickly, to reduce the possible blood loss in case of an anticipated accident.


You feel your heart pounding in your chest and temples. Your brain is receiving more oxygen to sharpen your senses and coordination.


The loud screeches around you haven’t stopped yet. In your rearview mirror, you see a car approaching your car fast. You know the driver won’t be able to stop the car in time to avoid hitting your vehicle.


You go through a sudden anxiety and helpless feeling. You cannot do anything about it. Your brain sends more chemicals to your bloodstream.


These chemicals help you to keep alert for an extended period of time. Finally it all stopped. Thank God, you have escaped with minor injuries. But your brand new Jaguar is totaled!


What you had just undergone is how stress works and how we cope with it. This is an example of a stress that was triggered by events or stimuli from outside your body.


Other examples of stress that results from outside events are


job related stress (such as when your boss gives you unreasonable jobs, working with unreasonable customers)

relationship induced stress (such as marital problems, death of a spouse, divorce),

Money problems (such as when all bills come due in January and you don’t have money to pay for it), etc.


In the example cited above, when you think of the accident, you get stressed.


Some people get a stress attack when they drive near the spot of the accident. This type of stress is called mind stressor. The origin of the stress, in this case, is within you.


You go home finally.


You are so upset you cannot sleep.

Your muscles are very tense.

Now you start worrying about your inability to sleep or about you body aches and pains.

This creates more stress.


See how this is triggering a domino effect. If you don’t do something about it soon enough you can die.


Stress can also originate from emotional and psychological causes.


For example, thinking of such an accident or a pending IRS audit will make people anxious; many find it difficult to sleep.


Then they worry about not getting enough sleep and how they will go to work without sleep. And so on.


One stressful event leads to another and, if we don't control it, the domino effect kicks in.


Even joyous events, such as a wedding, a job promotion, buying a new home, or the birth of a child, can cause much stress.


You also might get stressed out if you cannot achieve a particular goal or satisfy a certain wish.


For instance, you may want to have a child but cannot conceive. Fertility tests can't elucidate any reasons for this, and you feel very frustrated-why is this happening to you?


Certainly this is a very emotional issue-and one that you do not have much control over-that can cause much stress in your life.


Stress also exists in tandem with the pressure you feel when you perceive that negative consequences are attached to your actions.


For instance, you might feel pressured to maintain a certain level of performance at work or else risk getting fired.


If you find yourself thinking in this way, you should stop and consider whether the threat is real or if you are just being too hard on yourself. You might be able to control and even eliminate this kind of stress from your life.


Stress also stems from conflict, which is not always negative.


For instance, a conflict could occur in having to choose between two positive goals of equal value, such as choosing between two excellent job offers.


Or your conflict could involve a choice that has both a positive and negative outcome, such as you're getting married but it necessitates your moving across the country away from family and friends.


Numerous life events-such as: the death of a family member or friend, the loss of a job, buying a house or moving, and having a child, cause stress.


Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe, developed a list of major life stressors.


The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory

The Social Readjustment Rating Scale

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Life Event                                                                     Mean Value


1. Death of spouse                                                    100

2. Divorce                                                                  73

3. Marital Separation from mate                                    65

4. Detention in jail or other institution                           63

5. Death of a close family member                                63

6. Major personal injury or illness                                  53

7. Marriage                                                                 50

8. Being fired at work                                                  47

9. Marital reconciliation with mate                                 45

10. Retirement from work                                             45

11. Major change in the health or behavior of a

family member                                                            44

12. Pregnancy                                                             40

13. Sexual Difficulties                                                  39

14. Gaining a new family member (i.e.. birth, adoption,

older adult moving in, etc)                                            39

15. Major business readjustment                                   39

16. Major change in financial state (i.e.. a lot worse

or better off than usual)                                               38

17. Death of a close friend                                           37

18. Changing to a different line of work                          36

19. Major change in the number of arguments w/spouse

(i.e.. either a lot more or a lot less than usual

regarding child rearing, personal habits, etc.)                  35

20. Taking on a mortgage (for home, business, etc..)       31

21. Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan                            30

22. Major change in responsibilities at work

(i.e. promotion, demotion, etc.)                                    29

23. Son or daughter leaving home (marriage,

attending college, joined military)                                 29

24. In-law troubles                                                      29

25. Outstanding personal achievement                           28

26. Spouse beginning or ceasing work outside the home           26

27. Beginning or ceasing formal schooling                       26

28. Major change in living condition (new home,

remodeling, deterioration of neighborhood or

home etc.)                                                                 25

29. Revision of personal habits (dress manners,

associations, quitting smoking)                                     24

30. Troubles with the boss                                           23

31. Major changes in working hours or conditions             20

32. Changes in residence                                              20

33. Changing to a new school                                       20

34. Major change in usual type and/or amount of

recreation                                                                  19

35. Major change in church activity (i.e.. a lot more

or less than usual)                                                      19

36. Major change in social activities (clubs, movies,

visiting, etc.)                                                              18

37. Taking on a loan (car, tv,freezer,etc)                        17

38. Major change in sleeping habits (a lot more or

a lot less than usual)                                                   16

39. Major change in number of family get-togethers ("")          15

40. Major change in eating habits (a lot more or less

food intake, or very different meal hours or

surroundings)                                                             15

41. Vacation                                                               13

42. Major holidays                                                       12

43. Minor violations of the law (traffic tickets,

jaywalking, disturbing the peace, etc)                            11


300 pts or more raises the odds to about 80%, according to the Holmes-Rahe statistical prediction model increase sickness, illness, debilitating diseases such as cancer.


INSTRUCTIONS: Mark down the point value of each of these life events that has happened to you during the

previous year. Total these associated points.


Now, add up all the points you have to find your score.


150 pts or less means a relatively low amount of life change and a low susceptibility to stress-induced health breakdown.


150 to 300 pts implies about a 50% chance of a major health breakdown in the next 2 years.

Sources: Adapted from Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. Homes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale, Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Vol II, 1967.


Our Body’s Reaction to Stress

This is often known as General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

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When a person experiences stress, the brain responds by initiating 1400 different responses including the dumping of a variety of chemicals to our blood stream.


This gives a momentary boost to do whatever needs to be done to survive.


If left unchecked, however, the person can have a heart attack or stroke or develop cancer.


Many people start drinking alcohol.


They get depressed, find it difficult to sleep, and experience chest pain. The body runs out of the immunity to fight diseases.


So, very often, these persons die of disease such as cancer, pneumonia, etc.


The stress will never be identified as the cause of the death. I call the stress the proxy killer. Some other disease always takes the blame for it.


Doctors call the body’s reaction to stress as General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). There are three stages to GAS.


Alarm Reaction is the first stage of General Adaptation Syndrome

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The body releases adrenaline and a variety of other psychological mechanisms to combat the stress and to stay in control.


This is called fight or flight response. The muscles tense, the heart beats faster, the breathing and perspiration increases, the eyes dilate, the stomach may clench.


Believe it or not, this is done by nature to protect you in case something bad happens. Once the cause of the stress is removed, the body will go back to normal.


Resistance or adaptation is the second stage of GAS

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If the cause for the stress is not removed, GAS goes to its second stage called resistance or adaptation.


This is the body’s response to long term protection. It secretes further hormones that increase blood sugar levels to sustain energy and raise blood pressure.


The adrenal cortex (outer covering) produces hormones called corticosteroids for this resistance reaction. Overuse by the body's defense mechanism in this phase eventually leads to disease such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes and other debilitating diseases.


This adaptation phase often continues for a prolonged period of time without periods of relaxation and rest to counterbalance the stress response.


Sufferers become prone to fatigue, concentration lapses, irritability and lethargy as the effort to sustain arousal slides into negative stress.


Stress Resistance Stage

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Absenteeism or tardiness for work

Tired and fatigued for no reason

Procrastination and indecision

Social withdrawal with cynicism

Resentful, indifferent, defiant

Increased use of coffee, alcohol, tobacco, etc.


Exhaustion is the third stage of GAS

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In this stage, the body has run out of its reserve of body energy and immunity.


Mental, physical and emotional resources suffer heavily. The body experiences "adrenal exhaustion".


The blood sugar levels decrease as the adrenals become depleted, leading to decreased stress tolerance, progressive mental and physical exhaustion, illness and collapse.


The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) chain of command has served humans well as a means of survival for thousands of years.


For more information on hypothalamus and it’s affects on the Endocrine system see ____________.


However, for those suffering from chronic anxiety and depression the hypothalamus and the endocrine system malfunctions.


Continual stress early in life disrupts the cycle. Instead of shutting off once the crisis is over, the process continues, with the hypothalamus continuing to signal the adrenals to produce cortisol.


The increased cortisol production exhausts the stress mechanism, leading to fatigue and depression. Cortisol also interferes with serotonin activity, furthering the depressive effect.



The infrared sauna with full spectrum lighting had a very positive effect on relaxing and replacing the serotonin activity.



Continually high cortisol levels lead to suppression of the immune system through increased production of interleukin-6, an immune-system messenger.


This coincides with the information from several research findings indicating that stress and depression have a negative effect on the immune system.


Reduced immunity makes the body more susceptible to everything from cold and flu to cancer.


For example, the incidence of serious illness, including cancer, is significantly higher among people who have suffered the death of a spouse in the previous year.


Treating cancer alternatively provides options and home treatments where this immune-suppression process can be corrected with:


prayer of faith in God’s healing, (01-01-01)


juicing to strengthen the immune system and (01-04-00)


detoxification of the breakdown of chemicals and hormones that are (01-21-03)

produced by the body

as well as injested through the skin and mouth.


Or any number of other positive influences that restore hope and a feeling of self-esteem. See _______________.


The ability of human beings to recover from adversity is remarkable.


Very often, those under severe, prolonged stress may contract diseases related to immune deficiency and may even die of these diseases. This is a major reason why cancer is becoming so prevalent in our culture.


The death does not come from stress itself.


What happens is that the body loses all its resistance in its effort to ward off the stress. Thus the persons die of immune deficiency causes such as infection, cancer etc.


So, it is very important that we recognize the cause for stresses and remove the causes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Another result of stress is the clogging of the arteries by the fat and cholesterol released by the body during the attempt to fight stress.


This may result in a heart attack or you may suffer a stroke by losing blood supply to the brain.


Many people start drinking to combat the stress. Stress can also manifest itself into a number of diseases – depression, headaches, insomnia, ulcers, asthma, and more.


Early warning Signs of Stress

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Menstrual problems

Speech difficulties

More impatient




Nail biting

Grinding teeth

Low blood sugar

High blood sugar

Need more sleep

Tired but can’t sleep

Sudden weight loss

Sudden weight gain

Low blood pressure

High blood pressure

Lack of coordination

Repeated influenza

Repeated colds

Muscle aches

Hair loss

Chest pain


Nervous talking

Lower back pain

Loss of appetite

Increased appetite

High Cholesterol

High triglycerides

Excessive fatigue

Gastric disturbance

Withdraw from social life


Physical signs and symptoms of stress
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Increased heart rate

Pounding heart

Elevated blood pressure

Sweaty palms

Tightness of the chest, neck, jaw, and back muscles




Urinary hesitancy



Stuttering and other speech difficulties



Sleep disturbances


Shallow breathing

Dryness of the mouth or throat

Susceptibility to minor illness

Cold hands


Being easily startled

Chronic pain and


Emotional signs and symptoms of stress

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Angry outbursts







Diminished initiative

Feelings of unreality or over-alertness

Reduction of personal involvement with others

Lack of interest

Tendency to cry

Being critical of others




Decreased perception of positive

Experience opportunities

Narrowed focus

Obsessive rumination

Reduced self-esteem


Changes in eating habits and

Weakened positive emotional response reflexes.


Cognitive/Perceptual Signs and Symptoms of Stress

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Blurred vision

Errors in judging distance

Diminished or exaggerated fantasy life

Reduced creativity

Lack of concentration

Diminished productivity

Lack of attention to detail

Orientation to the past

Decreased psychomotor reactivity and coordination

Attention deficit

Disorganization of thought

Negative self-esteem

Diminished sense of meaning in lie

Lack of control/need for too much control

Negative self-statements and negative evaluation of experiences


Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Stress

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Increased smoking

Aggressive behaviors (such as drinking – road rage, etc.)

Increased alcohol or drug use








Nervous laughter

Compulsive behavior and



Stress Arousal Stage

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Persistent irritability and anxiety

Bruxism and /or Insomnia

Occasional forgetfulness and/or inability to concentrate


Severe Exhaustion Stage


Chronic sadness or depression

Chronic metal and physical fatigue

Chronic stress related illnesses (headache, stomach ache, bowel problems, etc.

Isolation, withdrawal, self-destructive thoughts


Long Term Implications of Stress

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Exposure to stress on a long-term basis can be debilitating both physically and mentally.


Under stress, the body produces an increase in the hormones adrenaline, noradrenalin and corticosteroids.


In the short-term these hormones produce tense muscles, queasiness and an increase in breathing and heart rates.


Long-term complaints that are stress related include:



Anxiety and depression

Digestive disorders


Headaches and migraine

Heart disease

High blood pressure

Impotence and premature ejaculation in men


Irritable bladder

Irritable bowel syndrome

Menstrual problems in women

Mouth and peptic ulcers

Muscular aches and pains


Panic attacks


Ulcerative colitis


A number of other diseases including multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer and genital herpes can also be aggravated by stress.


Possible Physical Disorders Caused By or Exacerbated By Stress

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Cardiovascular disorders

Migraine and tension headaches



Respiratory disease



Muscle tension problems


Possible Emotional Disorders Caused By or Exacerbated By Stress

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Panic attack


Adjustment disorders


The Effects of Stress on Systems in the Body

Central Nervous System






Cardiovascular System

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Impaired heart function; can cause angina

Constriction of the peripheral blood vessels, thereby raising blood pressure


Digestive System


Stomach upsets, even ulcers



Peptic ulcers

Irritable Bowel syndrome


Canker sores in the mouth


Respiratory System

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Musculoskeletal System


Tension in skeletal muscles and joints, leading to backache and muscular aches and pains

Predisposition to arthritis; degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis


Immune System

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Weakened defenses, with lowered resistance to infections

Viral illnesses (often due to a depleted immune defense system)


Malignant cell changes; cancer


Endocrine System


Menstrual disorders

Thyroid disorders (under active, overactive, thyroiditis)

Adrenal hypofuction


Reproductive System

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Premature ejaculation










Tissue degeneration

Acceleration of aging process

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