How Stress Can Affect Your Health

How Stress Can Affect Your Health

Even though you may not realize it, stress can have a significant impact on your health. You may think your decreased productivity at work, frequent insomnia and irritating headache are because of illness, but its real cause may actually be stress.

Besides weak immune system and trouble sleeping, here are some of the major health conditions that you may suffer from if you have chronic stress.

  • Migraines and Headaches

Your muscles tense up when you are stressed. Long-term tension can lead to a migraine, headache and general body pains and aches due to these tense muscles.

  • Anxiety and Depression

Stress results in symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Heart Problems

If you are suffering from high stress levels, this can even raise your heart rate and blood pressure. Overtime, high blood pressure can lead to serious health issues, such as heart attacks and stroke. If you have a history of heart problems, then you are specifically at risk of stress having negative effects on the heart.

  • Upset Stomach

Vomiting and diarrhea are the common conditions caused by short-term stress. However, long-term stress may result in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Stress can make IBS symptoms including bloating and gas worse.

  • Obesity

Studies show a link between obesity and stress. This is because when you are in a stressful situation, this increases the amount of cortisol (a hormone in your body), which can lead to overeating causing you to consume excess calories and store fat.

  • Menstrual Cycle Problems

Usually, women who experience long-term or chronic stress may suffer from irregular periods and severe PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms.

  • Decreased Sex Drive

Higher stress levels also result in decreased sex drive. It takes longer to get aroused for both women and men experiencing stress.

The affects of stress shouldn’t be considered lightly.  There are real and drastic impacts to your long term health that are a direct result of chronic, unaddressed stress.  Learning how to manage and control your stress with have positive impacts on your health and longevity.

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