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Friday, May 1, 2020

6 Surprising Effects Of Stress On The Body

A lot of people see stress as a normal part of their everyday life that they can’t avoid, but this is a dangerous attitude to have. It’s well known that stress can eventually lead to mental health issues, like anxiety and depression, but that is only one of the many ways that stress affects you. There are so many physical and mental health problems caused by stress, and most people are not aware of the impact that it can have. If you need a reason to start looking after yourself and finding ways to relax, check out some of these unexpected health issues caused by stress.

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Muscle and Joint Pain
If you have tight muscles in your back, you might put it down to sitting at a desk all day long. But have you considered that it may also be down to stress? When you are very stressed out, it can cause a lot of tightness in the muscles, which leads to pain. It also puts more stress on your joints and causes pain there as well. Over time, this could lead to long term joint problems. But if you can find ways to relax, your muscles will loosen and you will see a big reduction in pain.

Heart and Lung Problems
When you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol (often called the stress hormone). Excess levels of cortisol have been shown to increase the chances of heart and lung conditions in later life. That means that regular stress could lead to incredibly dangerous health issues as you get older. This happens because cortisol increases your blood pressure and that puts more strain on your heart and your respiratory system. If you notice that you get pains in your chest, particularly when you are stressed, it is important that you see a doctor right away.

Appearance Issues
You might not realize it, but stress can affect your looks in a big way.  When you are stressed, your body stops producing melanin, which can lead to gray hairs. Increased levels of cortisol also encourage your skin to produce more oil, so you will get greasy skin and acne breakouts. Cortisol breaks down collagen in your skin as well, which leads to more wrinkles. If you are worried about your beauty routine, reducing stress levels will do a lot more than any product ever could.

Tinnitus
Do you ever get a constant ringing sound in your ears that won’t go away? That’s probably tinnitus and it could be caused by stress. There are a lot of different things that cause tinnitus, like exposure to loud noise or hearing loss. However, stress makes the symptoms a lot worse, and this is a big problem because tinnitus can have a big impact on your quality of life. If you are suffering from tinnitus, reducing your stress levels can help you to manage it, but you should still see a hearing specialist in case there is a bigger issue.

Gut Health
We are only just starting to discover how important gut health is to your overall mental and physical health. There is a lot of bacteria in your gut and it has a very important role to play in your body. When the balance of that bacteria is upset and there is more bad bacteria than good, that can lead to digestive issues. Your gut health is also linked to your mental health, and poor gut health can increase stress and make mental health issues worse. The problem is, that relationship works both ways and stress can lead to issues with your gut. If you notice that you have a lot of digestive issues or you feel nauseous a lot of the time, that could be down to your high stress levels.

Weakened Immune System
Your immune system is the first line of defence against illness and disease, but stress can weaken it. The stress hormones that the body releases can suppress the immune system and limit its ability to fight off antigens. The impact that stress has on your gut health can also feed into this effect on the immune system. If you notice that you are constantly catching colds and it takes you a long time to get over illness, that’s a sign that you are too stressed out.

Stress has a huge effect on your physical and mental health and it can lead to a lot of long term conditions. It’s so important that you find ways to relax and reduce stress if you are going to protect your health.
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