Saturday, November 21, 2009

What a break-up does to your body

It's over, but the symptoms have just begun…

When your heart is broken, you can end up wearing the pain on your face, says naturopath and skin specialist Ananda Mahony. “The additional stress can cause skin inflammation, worsening breakouts, sensitivity and blotchiness.

How to help yourself:
“If skin is inflamed, use serums containing vitamin C, rosehip and chamomile. If it’s dehydrated, use a richer cream and if it’s congested, run a bath, exfoliate, put on a mask and treat yourself to a pampering afternoon,” advises Mahony.

Dark circles:
If you’re doing a lot of crying, hide the evidence by placing two chilled green tea bags on your eyes. “It will get the circulation going again and reduce puffiness,” says Mahony.

When upset, women tend to either lose their appetite or comfort eat, says consulting psychologist and nutritionist Selina Byrne. The latter crave foods high in sugar or fat. “So-called ‘comfort foods’ bring discomfort [as] they lead to weight gain, which can make you feel worse,” says Byrne. Comparatively, people who lose their appetite often lose weight and are prone to mood issues.

How to help yourself:
If you’ve lost your appetite, “Eat small amounts so you don’t go into starvation mode, [increasing] your stress hormones,” says Byrne.

Break-up PMS:
Be aware of what is happening with your menstrual cycle, says Byrne, as PMS can be worse after a break-up. Note the days prior to your period in your diary so you can say, “OK, I’m premenstrual so everything seems worse, but it will get better in a few days.”

Digestive system:
“Anything that affects our central nervous system will affect the gut nervous system,” says Byrne. When you are distressed, it is common to feel like you’re going to throw up or experience IBS-type symptoms, like stomach pain and bloating, she adds.

How to help yourself:
Stay away from foods that trigger digestive problems like wheat, flour, sugar and fatty foods. Avoid alcohol, but if you must have a drink try vodka and soda instead of wine. “Wine can be a depressant, whereas vodka doesn’t have the same emotional effect,” says Byrne.

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