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© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

“Stress is probably ultimately the underlying cause of all disease.”

 –Dr. Gladys T. McGarey

Photo by iStock.com

Photo by iStock.com

“The Mother of Holistic Medicine”, Dr. Gladys T. McGarey (M.D., M.D.H.), has said, “Stress is probably ultimately the underlying cause of all disease.”  Now, medical research has revealed that there is no longer any doubt that stress is a factor in human health conditions, especially depression, heart disease, HIV/Aids, and some virally caused cancers. In a review of a range of medical studies, psychology professor Sheldon Cohen, of Carnegie Melon University, found two pathways by which stress might increase how sick we are.

Stress creates changes that create changes that may, in turn, cause or increase illness.

First, stressed people don’t sleep well and are less likely to take care of themselves and follow doctors’ orders.  Second, stress impacts the body’s endocrine system, which should be releasing certain patterns of hormones that affect the immune system and inflammation.  Stress creates changes that create changes that may, in turn, cause or increase illness.  Cohen found a strong relationship between stress and depression, especially in people with strong social stress factors, like a divorce or the death of someone they love.  Workplace stress and other forms of chronic stress, however, were more likely to contribute to heart disease.  Since 2000, a number of studies have also shown that there is a link between stress and HIV/AIDS.

Have you ever noticed you were more tired when stressed?  Did you ever have a cold that got worse when you got bad news?  Who has experienced neck pain and headaches, when there is too much to do, or there is just too much going on around you?

Your symptoms are natural!  The body does not like negative stress!  Below is a chart of Stress Sources.   Glance over the chart and ask yourself, “when was this true for me?”  Then journal out your thoughts.

How do you react to stress, or how you have reacted in the past?

Next time, we begin a series on specific tools for beating stress, whatever the cause!  Stress is costly, and this is your life!

Figure 1.  Stress Sources



Difficult People

Available Time vs. Needs and Goals

Available Resources vs. Needs and Goals

Personal Values vs. Values of an Authority Figure


Unmet Emotional Needs

Unmet Physical Needs

Pain, Chronic Health Conditions

Limited Body Mobility

Old Emotional Agendas

Feeling Limited Or Trapped


Significant Personal Loss (Death of Spouse, Job Loss)

Significant Community Loss (9/11 Attacks, Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy)


● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, and the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core.  She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.

● Your comments are welcome!

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● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .