Stress can cause various symptoms, including stomach aches and hives, sleepless nights, and missed periods.
Stress can make you feel like your heart will explode. Anxiety can manifest as a rash on the skin or hair loss.
Stress is a part of everyday life, but it’s sometimes good. Stress can motivate you to meet a deadline and perform at your best. Unmanaged or chronic stress can cause your body to suffer from unexpected symptoms, including aches and pains.
Richard Lang, MD MPH, and Susan Albers, PsyD, explain how mental stressors affect our body functions.
Chronic stress vs. daily stressors
Stress can affect the whole body, even if you don’t feel it. Dr. Lang says that stress doesn’t cause some conditions but can worsen their symptoms. When physical symptoms get worse, this can increase stress levels.
Dr. Albers says that stress can have long-term and short-term impact on us.
- Many of us experience daily stressors. You might have missed the bus, forgotten to pay your gas, or are anticipating a meal you are planning for friends. Dr. Albers explains, “Our muscles start to tighten, our heart starts to beat faster, and more oxygen is sent to our lungs to prepare us for the stressor.” The good news is that stressors can be minor. Our body returns to normal after the stressor has passed.
- The same daily stressors cause long-term stress. The difference is that these stressors become more frequent and stack up over time. “Chronic Stressors” are things such as financial problems and conflicts with your family. She clarifies that these ongoing issues may have profound and lasting effects on your mental and physical health.
Chronic stress can cause everything from weight gain and digestive issues to poor sleep.
Your body can’t get out of overdrive and is stuck in the flight or fight response. It cannot settle down. “Your body is constantly flooded with cortisol,” Dr. Albers says. This causes inflammation, and the rash makes you susceptible to chronic diseases.
Stress can cause your body to become ill.
Stress can affect your body in many different ways. Here are some ways stress can affect you:
1. Muscles, joints, and bones
Stress can lead to muscle spasms, pain, and tightness. Stress can cause symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions to flare up.
According to the American Psychological Association, your muscles tense when you are stressed out. Your muscles will release tension when the stress is gone.
2. Heart and lungs
Stress can harm your heart. Pressure can increase your heart rate in situations like trying to meet an important deadline at work. Too much stress hormone cortisol can worsen heart and lung problems, such as heart disease and heart rhythm disorders, high blood pressure, and asthma. Stress can cause rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and lung conditions.
See a doctor if you experience pain, tightness, or palpitations in your chest. This will help to rule out any severe conditions.
3. Skin and hair
Stress can affect your hair and skin. Stress can worsen skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis. Stress can also cause hives, itchiness, and excessive sweating.
4. You can also find out more about the following:
Has stress ever caused you to get a stomach ache? Stress can affect your digestive system in several ways, from simple symptoms like pain, gas, and diarrhea to more complex conditions like irritable bowel disease and acid reflux.
Stress can cause you to eat less or more, leading to an unhealthy diet. If the head and jaw.
Dr. Lang says that stress can cause tension migraines, tightness, and spasms of the neck, jaw, and shoulders. It may also contribute to a jaw disorder.
5. Immune system
Stress weakens the body’s immune system, which is necessary to fight off disease.
Dr. Lang warns that it can make you more susceptible to colds and flu. It can also worsen autoimmune diseases such as lupus or inflammatory bowel disorder.
Exercise and healthy eating habits can help boost your immune system. Training your immune system by using stress management to keep you healthy is essential.
6. Reproductive health
Have you ever wondered why sometimes your period comes a week or a month late? Stress is one of the many reasons why this happens.
Stress can cause you to miss your period. This could lead to a hormonal imbalance or secondary amenorrhea. Missing periods repeatedly due to stress can also cause a hormonal imbalance or secondary amenorrhea.
Stress can be another reason you toss and turn all night. Constant worrying can put your body and mind in a state of tension.
Sleepless nights due to stress can harm your health over time. Sleepless nights can harm your health over time. This is especially true if you are not getting the 7 to 9 hours needed. This could lead to sleep disorders such as insomnia.
8. Weight gain
The natural stress hormone cortisol may be affecting your weight. When too much is released, certain bodily functions stop, and your metabolism slows down. There are several ways to bring your cortisol levels back into balance so that they work for you instead of against you.
9. Mental Health
Stress can cause symptoms of depressive disorders and reduce your enthusiasm for the activities you usually enjoy — such as hobbies or spending time with family. You may have an anxiety condition if your stress is so constant that it becomes endless worrying. Stress can also lead to poor eating or less exercise.
Stress is not a reason to feel low. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Dr. Albers says that if you are having difficulty getting to work or notice changes in sleep patterns or appetite, this could indicate that your stress levels may be out-of-control.
It may not be enough to shake off a stressful day if you’re feeling stressed.
Dr. Lang says, “We can only treat the symptoms.” The real challenge is to identify and treat the root cause of the problem.
You can get help from your doctor with stress management, counseling, or anxiety-reducing medication. You can achieve a healthier lifestyle by working with your doctor.