Chronic Stress: Health Problems Caused by Stress

Stress is your body’s reaction to pressure from many conditions in your life.

Stress can be useful since it keeps us alert, motivated, and ready to avert danger. When stressors continue without relief or periods of relaxation, though, it becomes a problem.

This is especially true in today’s fast-paced world when chronic stress has a substantial impact on your mind and body.

Continue reading to find out how stress affects your physical and emotional health, as well as what you can do about it.

How Stress Can Affect Your Body

effects of stress symptoms

Endocrine And Central Nervous Systems

stress effects on sympathetic nervous system

Your ‘fight or flight’ reaction is controlled by your central nervous system.

The hypothalamus sends a signal to your adrenal glands to release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol when you are faced with a stressful situation.

These hormones speed up your heart rate and blood flow to your vital organs.

The body will usually regulate itself after an event, but the stress reaction will prolong if the stressor is still present and/or your central nervous system fails to regulate itself.

Stress, whether frequent or chronic, can contribute to physical and mental health issues such as diabetes, obesity, immunological diseases, depression, and chronic fatigue.

Respiratory system

The respiratory system is in charge of oxygen supply to cells and carbon dioxide removal from the body.

Shortness of breath or fast breathing can be caused by stressful conditions because the airway between your lungs and nose constricts.

Stressful life events can increase breathing problems in those with pre-existing respiratory disorders including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

For someone who is prone to panic attacks, stress-induced rapid breathing (hyperventilation) may trigger one.

Cardiovascular System

manage stress for your mental and physical health

Overwhelming stress may cause your heart rate to rise. Your blood pressure rises as your body tries to give oxygen-rich blood to every cell.

Continuous stress can result in excessive amounts of stress hormones and high blood pressure, both of which can lead to heart disease.

Stress, whether frequent or chronic, can increase your risk of hypertension, cardiac arrest, and stroke. It’s also possible that long-term stress has an effect on your cholesterol levels.

Musculoskeletal System

In response to sudden onset tension, muscles tense all at once, then relax once the stimulus has passed.

However, if you’re constantly stressed, your muscle tension will stay constant too.

Muscle tension can exacerbate chronic, stress-related musculoskeletal diseases, leading to muscle atrophy, or the weakening or loss of muscle tissue.

Reproductive System

Stress can cause testosterone levels in men to diminish over time, interfering with sperm production and sexual desire, and even leading to erectile dysfunction.

Chronic stress may make male reproductive organs including the prostate and testes more susceptible to infection.

Lack of sexual desire, painful periods, and an increased risk of postpartum depression are all stress-related impacts on women.

Digestive System

When your stress levels rise, your liver produces extra blood sugar to give your body energy. The extra blood sugar surge may increase the risk of diabetes if your stress levels remain elevated for a long time.

As a result, stomach acid levels may rise, resulting in heartburn and acid reflux. Long-term stress has also been associated with gastrointestinal illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and stomach ulcers in several studies.

Are You Feeling Stressed?

stressful situations , work related stress

Stress effects can be seen in many forms like:

Physical symptoms

  • Insomnia

  • Aching muscles

  • Cold or sweaty hands

  • Teeth grinding and clenched jaw

Emotional symptoms

  • Easily agitated, frustrated, and moody

  • Unable to unwind and feeling overwhelmed

  • Low self-confidence

  • Keeping to oneself

Behavioral symptoms

  • Developing a fidgety attitude

  • Procrastinating

  • Appetite fluctuates

  • Substance abuse

Cognitive symptoms

  • Feeling pessimistic and finding it hard to look at the positives

  • Worrying and thinking constantly

  • Inability to concentrate and make sound decisions

  • Stress-induced memory impairment

What triggers stress?

There are numerous factors that might cause stress. Furthermore, not everyone reacts to an incident in the same way; something that stresses you out may not upset someone else.

As a result, pinpointing the particular causes of stress can be difficult. However, some common sources of stress include:

  • Stressful life events

  • Workplace anxiety

  • Financial uncertainty

  • Problems in relationships

  • Irrational expectations

  • Pessimistic attitude toward life

What can I do to cope with the effects of stress?

stress management

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing enhance the body’s relaxation reaction, which is the polar opposite of the stress response.

Eat a well-balanced diet. The food you eat might alter your mood and capacity to cope with life’s stresses.

Get some shut-eye. Tiredness can increase stress levels by causing you to make rash decisions. On the other side, chronic stress might disrupt your sleep.

Vitality Can Help You Release Your Stress!

Have you been suffering from chronic issues like migraines, Meniere’s disease, shoulder pain, vertigo, neck pain or even digestive problems?

Chiropractic treatments can aid in the relief of chronic stress symptoms, especially the issues mentioned above.

Interested in learning more?

Book an appointment today for a consultation.

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