How stress can add 35 years to how you feel

Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD

June 13, 2022


You probably already know that stress can wreak havoc on your health. But it can really have a dramatic impact on your metabolism.

I will never forget the amazing case of Anna. She taught me more about stress than any medical journal ever could.

When I first met Anna, she was 63 years old. When I tested her mitochondrial function using Bio-Energy Testing, she tested out with the mitochondrial function of a 35-year-old fast oxidizer. I was not all that surprised.

She had regularly exercised all of her adult life. She ate well and lived a balanced life. And she took hormones and plenty of supplements. She asked me, “What do you recommend that I do?” I simply told her to just stay with what she was already doing. It was clearly working. But just to be sure, I told her to come in for another Bio-Energy Testing in a year.

The next year she returned, and I retested her. Even though she was another year older, the results were the same. This time I told her to wait two years for the next test.

Two years later, when she was 66, I saw her again.

To my surprise, her mitochondrial function had decreased almost 50%. She was no longer super woman. In fact, she was now functioning along the lines of the typical 66 year old. I asked her what had happened.

I was sure she was going to tell me that she had stopped exercising, or that she had stopped taking her hormones or supplements. No, that was not the case. Everything about her life had remained completely the same. Everything, that is, except for one thing — stress.

About nine months prior to this last test, her mom had moved in with her. Her mom had Alzheimer’s disease. For the previous nine months, Anna had not slept well. And she was constantly worried about one thing or another.

Eventually, two months before this last test, her mom became sick and died. Keep in mind that while all of this was going on, Anna had continued to eat the same, exercise the same, and so forth. The only factor that was different was stress. In only nine months, stress had dramatically reduced her mitochondrial function to little more than half of what it had been all her life.

The moral of this story is don’t accept prolonged stress as being something that doesn’t have to be dealt with. Make sure you’re monitoring your mitochondrial status and taking the right measures before it’s too late.

I would say on average that about 85% of all my patients with significant diseases report that the disease stared after 6-12 months of stress. The problem is that many people when under stress stop taking care of themselves. That’s not a good idea.

When we’re over stressed, it’s the time to tighten up on our lifestyle until the stress is over.


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