Real Health Podcast: The power of stress with Dr Alka Patel

What is stress? How does this impact the body? And should we be labelling it as bad?

Stress can be defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives. Everyone experiences stress to some degree.

I was joined by Lifestyle medicine physician and longevity expert, Dr Alka Patel, on this week's episode.

Dr Alka explained that all stress isn’t bad: “If you're stress free, then you're dead because we need stress. It's a trigger. It's an activation. You wouldn't be able to get out of bed without a little stress response back to cortisol. That's what cortisol is doing it’s activating you,” she said.

What is Hormetic stress?

Hormetic stress is the right amount of stress where your body is challenged, but you aren't overly fatigued. Because of this, your body isn't weakening due to a total lack of stress exposure, but you're avoiding the nasty side effects of toxic stress. Examples of this would be ice baths, fasting and exercise.

Patel is an expert in ageing and she spoke about the difference between biological and chronological age: “Chronological age is how long you have existed. Biological age is how old your cells are. Sometimes these two numbers are the same for people, but everyone ages at different rates. Your healthspan is the period of life where you are free of any aging-related disease,” she said.

You can listen to the full episode on The Irish Independent or wherever you get your podcasts.