Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson, host of the Holistic Health Bites podcast, talks to Dr Tricia Pingel about adrenal health

On this episode of the Holistic Health Bites podcast, Dr. Tricia Pingel and I discussed the impact of stress on health, the importance of a holistic approach to health, and the significance of mindfulness and self-care in achieving long-term health goals. Dr Pingel also highlighted the negative health impacts of elevated cortisol levels and the interconnectedness of various bodily systems. Lastly, she emphasized the need to address the root causes of health problems and the importance of self-compassion and positive choices for health.

Episode Summary:
Dr. Pingel Shares Her Stress Management Journey
Dr. Pingel shared her personal journey of constantly striving to do everything herself, while also dealing with the stresses of life. She discussed how this led to physical and mental health issues, including chronic stomach aches, anxiety, and depression. However, after reconnecting with herself and others over the past decade, she has learned to manage stress and is now passionate about helping others do the same. She emphasized the importance of living authentically and joyfully, and not accepting stress as a normal part of life.

Stress Impact on Health Discussion
Dr. Pingel and Andrea discussed the impact of stress on health, with Dr. Pingel emphasizing the significance of cortisol and stress in medical protocols. They identified two types of stress: external, such as financial or relationship worries, and internal, such as nutrient deficiencies or hormonal changes. Dr. Pingel highlighted how these different types of stress can feed into each other, creating a vicious cycle. Andrea acknowledged the complexity of managing stress, given its varied sources and the perception of stress being a significant factor. The two agreed on the importance of understanding the sources of stress and learning to manage them.

Managing Stress and Building Resilience
Andrea and Dr. Pingel discussed the importance of recognizing and reducing stress levels. Andrea emphasized that it's crucial not to feel overwhelmed by stress and that there are practices to help manage it.  Dr. Pingel shared her personal experience of how changing her mindset from fear to growth opportunities helped her cope with the loss of her family. Dr. Pingel also mentioned the need for daily practice to build resilience. Andrea then asked how to identify stress sources and build resilience.

Holistic Health Approach Discussed
Dr. Pingel discussed the importance of a holistic approach to health, focusing on four pillars: nutrition, exercise, supplement, and mindset. He explained how stress can lead to nutrient deficiencies and the depletion of vital vitamins and minerals. He advised on ways to replenish these through food and supplements, and also suggested herbs to help balance cortisol levels. The doctor emphasized the importance of mindful exercise, which can be beneficial for both physical and mental health. Lastly, he stressed the significance of a positive mindset, encouraging the practice of gratitude and reframing negative thoughts.

Mindfulness, Self-Care, and Long-Term Health Goals
Dr. Pingel and Andrea discussed the importance of mindfulness and self-care in achieving long-term health goals. Dr. Pingel emphasized that many people struggle with achieving their goals due to a disconnect between their head and body, and a lack of adaptability in their approach. He explained that excessive stress can lead to weight gain, particularly in the midsection, due to the body's reaction to low blood sugar levels. Dr. Pingelalso pointed out the need to address the nutritional and mindfulness aspects of health, in addition to physical exercise. Andrea proposed a more in-depth discussion on common mistakes and misconceptions surrounding health and wellness.

Mindfulness, Body Connection, and Creativity
Dr. Pingel emphasized the importance of connecting with one's body through mindfulness, rather than trying to control it through rigid routines and excessive analysis. Dr. Pingel indicated that this approach can lead to improved physical and mental health. Andrea agreed, noting that many of her clients who were overly focused on micromanaging their health were stuck in their progress due to their perfectionism. Dr. Pingelfurther shared her personal experience of improving her memory through a creative pursuit, dance, which helped her to let go and trust the process.

Rest and Relaxation in the Digital Age
Dr. Pingel and Andrea discussed the importance of rest and relaxation in combatting overstimulation in modern society. They emphasized the need to calm the mind and body, and to reduce reliance on stimulants like coffee and energy drinks. They suggested practices like mindfulness, meditation, and focusing on breath as a means of achieving this. They also highlighted the importance of scheduling time for oneself and using technology in a mindful way, such as turning off notifications and setting aside specific blocks of time for work and self-care.

Elevated Cortisol Levels and Health Impacts
Andrea and the doctor discussed the negative health impacts of elevated cortisol levels, often referred to as the "stress hormone." The doctor explained the widespread effects of cortisol on various bodily systems, including the cardiovascular system, immune system, and gut, and how chronic stress can lead to health problems like high blood pressure, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. He further highlighted the interconnectedness of the endocrine system and the importance of assessing cortisol levels, metabolics, inflammatory markers, hormones, thyroid, and nutritional markers.

Stress, Health, and Holistic Solutions
Andrea and Dr. Pingeldiscussed the relationship between stress and health issues, with Dr. Pingelemphasizing the importance of addressing the root causes of health problems. Dr. Pingel shared insights from her book "Total Health Turnaround," which offers solutions for better nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness to manage stress. Andrea appreciated the book's holistic approach and agreed to share a link to the book's website for personalized signing. Dr. Pingel encouraged everyone to engage with her on social media and participate in her live Q&As, emphasizing the importance of self-compassion and positive choices for health. Andrea committed to sharing Dr.'s information in the show notes for easy access by the audience.


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