The effects of stress on the body are more powerful than one might think. That tension and mental state typical of stress, if maintained for a long time, undermine our health and spin a web in which we remain trapped in our lives. The cumulative effects of chronic stress take hold of us until we weaken, eventually letting ourselves be crushed by the whirlwind of everyday life. Recognize stress symptoms: Physical Effects of Stress on the Body.

Stress is the watchword when we don’t reach our goals. When the day is too short and our obligations are many. When the headache becomes unbearable and pending tasks are endless. Everyone, in one way or another, can describe this feeling of unease, this so common enemy of the human being.

Stress Symptoms: Physical Effects of Stress on the Body

Far beyond the sensations, there are the internal realities, the effects, the consequences. Let’s talk about the impact this disorder has on the body, which acts as an invasive presence by altering a series of basic functions.

First, one thing we need to take into consideration is that stress changes the brain. When this condition is maintained permanently, memory deteriorates, certain structures degenerate, cognitive decline sets in and there is also a greater risk of suffering from depression.

We are not talking about a harmless situation. Stress is more than a buzzword, it is a disorder, it is a reality that leaves a dent in the body and takes away vitality, energy and of course health.

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Effects of stress on the body

The effects of stress on the body are orchestrated by a brain structure: the hypothalamus.  This interesting area acts almost like a radar. He is very sensitive to worries, to those mental knots full of fear and anxiety. He interprets all these messages as a threat and immediately issues a warning signal to the body: we must escape.

Faced with this information charged with a tone of alarm, the body activates an incredibly complex reaction. To begin with, the pituitary gland and adrenal cortex secrete stress hormones . These hormones contain elements very similar to cortisone: they are called glucocorticoids, the most important of which is cortisol.

It must be said that glucocorticoids have pros and cons. If they are secreted at a specific and limited time, they help us to react in more suitable ways by always bringing out the best of ourselves in a given situation. However, if they are secreted continuously, day after day, the effects of stress on the body will be immense .  Let’s see them below.

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Respiratory and cardiac symptoms

Stress hormones act on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.  We breathe faster as the brain tries to rapidly distribute oxygen-rich blood throughout the body to enable it to react to threats as quickly as possible. This is where tachycardia and hypertension appear.

Another phenomenon also occurs: the blood vessels shrink to bring more oxygen to the muscles so that they can “escape” these alleged threats. This implies that  the heart and brain will receive less oxygen and nutrients.

Effects on the digestive system

Another effect of stress on the body is found on the digestive level. These are the following conditions:

  • Stomach ache.
  • Appearance of ulcers.
  • Bad digestion.
  • Gastric reflux.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Nausea and vomit.
  • Stress forces the liver to produce more blood sugar (glucose) in order to get more energy. This results in a higher risk when suffering from diabetes.
  • Colitis and intestinal inflammation.

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Obesity or weight loss

It is an effect that usually varies a lot from person to person.  In stressful situations, some people increase their calorie food intake to satisfy this emotional anxiety. Others, on the other hand, experience loss of appetite.

Hair loss

Stress-related hair loss is common.  High levels of cortisol in the blood weaken hair follicles and it is common for hair follicles to gradually fall out. It is also possible to suffer from alopecia areata, small areas where hair falls out and localized baldness appears.

Changes in the menstrual cycle

Chronic stress usually has severe effects on the hormonal system. One of the most obvious symptoms in women, therefore, is a very irregular menstrual cycle. Delays or amenorrhea, also the menstrual flow can be less.

Weak immune system

The effects of stress on the body particularly affect the immune system. Emotional stress undermines our defenses . If it is not managed correctly and maintained over time, the immune response is reduced and we begin to be more vulnerable to the following conditions:

  • Fever and colds.
  • Herpes
  • Allergies
  • Skin affections.
  • Slow healing.

Tips to Sleep Better

Finally,  the effects of stress on the body are immense.  Sometimes it is normal not to see the relationship and limit oneself to resorting to drugs and various treatments without understanding their origin, the real trigger. Experts in this field tell us that, in general, people don’t know how to recognize symptoms.

Diabetes can result from chronic stress; behind the recurring headaches, insomnia or that allergy of which we do not understand the cause, this known enemy may lurk, but not perceived or taken into consideration. Let’s think about it.

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