How Stress Affects Your Body


Whether it is an upcoming test or just the usual traffic jam on the way to work, psychological stress can most definitely affect your body in several, immediate ways. Although a certain degree of stress means better performance in certain areas of your life, specialists confirm that a number of serious health issues can be directly connected to stress. A few of these effects have been discussed as follows:

  1. Build-up of fat The stress hormone that is also known as cortisol dupes your body into holding onto fat tissues. The size of the body’s fat cells increases as well. As a result, you see yourself gaining weight quite rapidly. Some studies even suggest that belly fat has a connection with cortisol. Some people tend to binge eat during a stress-filled phase of their life, which is another reason why you may become fat.
  2. Increasing blood pressure Although no direct connection has been made between permanent blood pressure changes and chronic stress, doctors state that a stressful event could cause your blood vessels to narrow. Naturally, this would lead to the increase of the patient’s blood pressure. However, it has been noted that this spike in the blood pressure decreases as soon as the stress passes.
  3. Loss of hair How often do you find yourself wishing to tear out your own hair during a stressful event or situation? This is a disorder that is known as trichotillomania. There is an autoimmune condition known as alopecia areata, which is the reason why random, excessive hair fall occurs during a stressful period.
  4. Back ache During a stressful situation, our muscles tend to tense up because of the “fight or flight” mechanism that is used by our body. This is said to lead to chronic and acute backache. Several studies and polls in various countries prove that deep thinkers and worriers almost always suffer from backache.
  5. Lack of sleep Sleeping is very important. A lot of people underestimate the true power of sleep. As a person ages, he or she needs more sleep or at least a certain amount of sleep to stay fit. Haven’t you had a bad day when you did not get an ample amount of sleep? Think of it in this way, when you sleep, your body rests and you re-gain the energy you had lost during the day. Without proper sleep, people cannot function properly. They experience sudden mood swings. Moreover, the body stays too tired to perform regular daily activities.
  6. Headache A pain inflicting headache can weaken the body. It can weaken your thinking power and cause you to slow down. The central nervous system controls your whole body. When your stress levels, go down, the nervous system signals your body and everything goes back to normal. However, if you are stressed for quite some time, the central nervous system cannot ask your body or all other systems under it to go back to normal. Therefore, constant stress results in very painful headaches.
  7. Takes a toll on your reproductive system Stress can affect your sex life negatively. A person under stress has a lower desire for sex. Actually the male body produces a lot more testosterone under stress, but only for a short amount of time. However, when overproduction is over, males can suffer from severely low levels of testosterone. Moreover, this further affects the production of sperms in men. Therefore, chronic stress is really bad for men. Women experience a lot of mood swings when they are under stress. Women already have a hard time dealing with their periods. Stress can completely change a woman’s menstrual cycle. Either the person will experience irregular menstruation or she will have to suffer from a severely painful week long period.
  8. Breathing and heart issues Stress is not your friend. Stress will make you breathe faster so that your lungs can take in oxygen more quickly. However, if you already suffer from respiratory problems like asthma, you will have a bad time when being stressed. You will find it difficult to breathe, and respiratory medicines will also need some time to work on you. In addition to that, since your body wants to distribute oxygen quickly, the blood vessels will stay constrict. Thus, people with chronic stress have higher risks of hypertension and heart diseases.

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