It's not uncommon for people to ask, “How does stress affect health?" We have often heard rumors about how stress can ruin you physically and mentally. Is there any truth to it?
The truth is that researchers are still trying to determine the exact effects of stress. There are several studies that show a tentative but strong connection between stress and certain health problems. Some things are already certain though. Studies show for example that at the most, 90% of complaints in clinics are due to stress with 43% of people suffering badly from stress. The OSHA itself has said that stress is a major work hazard.
Ongoing studies seem to show that people are often more prone to certain conditions. Here are some of the possible health problems that people under stress may have to face:
- Stress may be responsible for certain heart ailments. The hormones produced during a state of stress increase blood pressure and heart rate. This increase will in turn put too much pressure on the arteries. This could harm them, cause them to thicken, and eventually lead to heart disease.
- One major answer to how does stress affect health has something to do with the immune system. People under stress tend to be more prone to colds and infections. This is because the hormone cortisol which is present in large amounts when under stress also tends to hinder the work of the immune system.
- You could gain more weight when under stress. This is due to the body's quick use of carbohydrate stores. This in turn could encourage you to eat more. On the flip side, those who are too busy to even eat could lose weight and consume all of their energy stores. That would leave them with nothing to draw energy and nutrients from.
- You may have noticed that you may experience more stomach complaints when under stress. If you miss meals due to your preoccupation with stressful factors, then you could develop hyperacidity. Loose bowels are also a natural reaction to stress due to chemical reactions that cause the stomach to digest food improperly.
- Your body is not the only part that stress affects. Your mental and psychological states are also in danger. Stress naturally produces anxiety, worry and frustration. These could lead to the development of more serious psychological conditions such as depression.
- Stress can rob you of your sleep. Night sleep is the body's way of recharging itself so you can face the next day with renewed energy. If you lose sleep, your body would not have been rested well enough. This naturally takes its toll on your daily performance. Your vital organs suffer too since they have been on working mode from dusk till dawn.
- Those who experience stress complain of various other conditions. You may experience, headaches, rashes, gum problems, menstrual irregularities, hair loss and *** problems.
So how does stress affect health? As these conditions would show, it can affect it in various ways. Make it a point to learn to manage stress to ensure your health.
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