Can Stress Affect Your Physical Health?
None of us are immune to stress. It is your reaction to a situation that pulls you out of your comfort zone. Whether you feel the pressure of a deadline or are coping with a difficult life change, stress affects your mind and potentially your body.
Some stress is beneficial (think: motivation at crunch-time), but too much may negatively impact your mental well-being and be damaging to your physical health long term.
Stress causes hormones to be released at the command of the nervous system. Among these hormones are adrenaline and cortisol. These chemicals are an evolutionary response designed to prime the body for immediate action, known as “fight or flight”. During this response, your heart races, blood pressure rises drastically, and your senses may become more focused.
Physical symptoms of stress.
Some of the physical symptoms developed from extended periods of heavy stress may include sleep problems, fatigue, and chronic headaches. However, it may be possible to relieve these symptoms and bring stress levels under control by seeking professional help. If you silently suffer through the stain of stress, much more serious problems may result. Here are some conditions that may be attributed to stress:
1. Heart Problems. Increased adrenaline, energy, and stress-eating all put strain on the heart. Heart problems may include hypertension (a chronic disease with no visible symptoms), stroke, and heart failure. Stress may increase blood pressure as well, putting you at risk of other organs failing, such as your kidneys and liver.
2. Weakened Immune System. Stress may suppress the immune system. A compromised immune system may exacerbate chronic problems like allergies, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. You may be more susceptible to influenza, get sicker, and take longer to recover.
4. Chronic Pain. Back pain, herniated discs, fibromyalgia, and muscular pain are all commonly associated with long periods of stress, during which time there is a constant flexing and release of muscles.
Although there are long-term effects of stress, they do not need to be permanent. There are ways to keep your stress in check: yoga, running, breathing exercises, diet, and therapy are just some of the ways to cope with stress.
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Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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