Stress and The Future of Work
Posted On Apr 21, 2011
Who among us in the traditional work place have not watched, with envy, the documentaries and news reports about the futuristic, worker-friendly environments at cool Internet companies like Google and Microsoft? After all, they’ve got Foosball and ping pong, and chefs that cook 3 meals a day, and cots for napping, and even dry cleaning services for their dedicated workers. What a great way to be productive and creative, right?
Well, not everything is as it seems in these worker paradises. Tami Mergalia, MD, an anti-aging doctor who practices in Seattle, Wash., reports that stress can be considerable at such places—precisely because they are designed to keep employees working away for all kinds of hours.
“We are the Microsoft, Bill Gates city,” says Dr. Megalia, who reports that she is seeing, “a rash of Microsoft and Gates Foundation patients who come for hormone replacement because they are so run down… They have great food and cots for them, but that’s so they won’t ever leave. And that’s not a good thing…”
Due to fairly constant work pressure and insufficient sleep, says Dr. Megalia, she is seeing local Internet workers in their 30s with adrenal fatigue “comparable to 80 year olds.” Adrenal fatigue occurs when low-level pervasive stress burns out the ability of your adrenal gland to produce cortisol, the hormone that allows you to deal with persistent low-level stress (as opposed to the high-level stress hormone adrenaline).
The solution? A comprehensive adrenal fatigue program, which includes lifestyle changes as well as an array of supplements. Among these are glandular extracts and black licorice, which help elevate cortisol levels. The good news is that the human body is resilient, and the adrenal gland restores itself—though this usually takes six months, and sometimes up to a year.
If you think the employees at Microsoft are alone in their adrenal fatigue syndrome, however, think again. Thanks to stress in the workplace, says Dr. Mergalia, “If you have any degree of success in North America, you probably have some level of adrenal fatigue.”