12 Common Health Issues That May Be Caused By Stress

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Stress has become a common health concern everyone needs to give priority to given its rise in alarming proportions in today’s world. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or worry caused by demanding circumstances at in a person’s life, at work etc. Stress affects almost all the major regulatory systems of the body including the immune, nervous, muscular, endocrine, reproductive, respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Lots of activities exist which can help us keep our bodies refreshed after a stressful bout and they include music, art, swimming and other relaxing activities. The value of having a positive mindset cannot be overemphasised. The effects of stress on our bodies can take a serious downturn and as such it is important to have an idea of things that cause them and know if you need to lower the level of stress you’re passing through.

Insomnia

If you’re stressed, chances are you’d be awake through the night a lot of the times. This is mostly because of the way stress affects the brain. If you find out you have trouble getting sleep, try and get as much exercise as you can during the day. When you can’t get to sleep easily, perhaps your body has too much energy to sleep which it needs to burn. More so, it would also be beneficial to you if you can reduce your caffeine intake to the barest minimum. This could be not more than one cup a day. It’s also a good thing to cut down on the levels of refined sugar in your diet as well.

Depression
Depression and anxiety can arise as a result of prolonged stress of your nervous system. This can result in certain conditions such as Anorexia, Bulimia, excessive use of alcohol and compulsive eating. When your central nervous system is stressed for prolonged periods of time, it can create anxiety and depression. Moreover, if you are depressed, you may find out there are times when you always feel sleepy and detest being around people. This may result in weight gain which may result in type two diabetws stemming from overindulging in food.
Stress can have an adverse effect on the way you relate with people as you may become very irritable and cranky towards loved ones without meaning to.
It is essential you seek therapy that can help lower stress if you feel some of these symptoms. Some supplements exist which can help boost your mood, but have it at the back of your mind that it can interfere with the effectiveness of birth control.

Migraines
Migraines are constant headaches that can be traced to a nervous system disorder. They can last for between a few hours to a couple of days. Migraines may be characterised by a throbbing and painful feeling on one side of the head. In extreme cases, migraines may cause stomach and intestinal disturbances, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
Women are more affected by migraines than men and it has been fingered as a major cause of absenteeism due to illness from work. Ensure you take lots of water if you feel the onset of a migraine and more importantly, take it as a sign that you need to get some rest.
Migraines may also be caused by a mixture of dehydration, intolerance to some types of food and stress. It is a good idea for you to avoid allergens such as alcohol, dairy, chocolate, wheat and soy which are known to trigger migraines.

Stomachache
The nervous system and organs of the digestive system are somewhat related. As a matter of fact, some researchers have called the human stomach, the second brain. When you feel stressed, chances are you may experience some form of stomach upset. Stress has been known to irritate stomach and peptic ulcers the way foods and drink high in acidic content do.
As such, an anti-inflammatory diet and those that are alkaline in nature is a good way to manage your your digestive health.
Try as much as you can to reduce or totally avoid processed food and take lots of water especially those that are alkaline in nature to help balance the acidic and alkaline contents of your body. Taking Probiotics are also a good way of helping you achieve proper balance in your health.
When you’re stressed, chances are you’re body can trigger an allergic reaction to certain foods you could easily tolerate previously.

Painful inflammation
When you’re stressed, your brain responds by triggering high levels of Adrenaline which puts your body in a fight or flight mode. This mode helps your body respond better to stress by aiding the release of more oxygen. However, your stress levels also enables the release of cortisol- a hormone known for its acidic nature. This hormone also releases free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are unstable and need to acquire electrons from healthy skin cells to gain stability. As a result of this acquisition of electrons, an inflammation arises. This condition may result in an inflammation of muscles in your tissues and joints.
Incorporating physical exercises and athletic activities can go a long way to help you reduce stress and inflammation in your joints. If the kind of work you do requires a lot of sitting and slouching, it may be the reason you’re stressed. This is because poor posture excessively strains your muscles. Try and take breaks between 30 minutes and an hour of seating to stretch while also ensuring you sit in an upright position.
Anti-inflammatory herbs can be of help when taken with regular meals. Some of these herbs include cinnamon, turmeric and ginger.

Back and neck pain
The neck and back are good positions in the body for stress to build up simply because we tend to put more tension on muscles located in those areas. Having chronic pain can be an indication of stress. Failing to acknowledge your fears, anger and anxiety may cause the brain to subconsciously interprete such as physical pain. Dr. John E. Sarno studied this phenomenon and calls it Tension Mitosis Syndrome (TMS).
A lot of the time, it is difficult for people to actually agree that the physical pain they feel is not caused by injury or if stress is responsible for elongating the symptoms of an injury. Thus, it is essential you retrain your body and mind and you would be amazed at how this activity can help defeat any form of chronic pain you feel.

Acid reflux
The cardiovascular system is also affected by stress. Hypertension can arise when your heart is unduly stressed and is pumping blood faster than it should for long periods of time. When people have heartburn or acid reflux, they’d quickly reach out for some Pepto-Bismol or Alka-Seltzer pill instead of treating the root cause of the problem which could be diet or stress related.
When you’re stressed, chances are you’d have an increased heart rate and heartburn. In severe cases, sufferers may feel chest pains and heart attacks. Hence, it is important you learn to manage stress as it affects your health a lot.
When you are stressed up, your body releases more glucose (the fuel of the body) than it can make use of. Ergo, when you’re under repeated stress, your digestive process can be interrupted because stress inhibits the digestive process. This may result in constipation and an increase in your weight. The respiratory system is also affected by stress and it may increase the symptoms of asthma resulting in difficultly in breathing.

Irregular periods

Irregular periods such as your flow being extremely light or extremely heavy can be caused by stress. Stress has been linked to an increase in the testosterone levels of women which may result in a reduced libido. If you have a feeling that you’re stressed, going to a spa can do some magic.
Furthermore, going for daily walks, watching a hilarious movie in the cinema or having a bubble bath can go a long way in helping you relax.

High blood pressure
Very few people can correctly identify the symptoms and causes of hypertension or what hypertension is generally. Being hypertensive can be a way your body is telling you that your lifestyle is unsuitable for you. Your body could be telling you that you’re living a stressful life and you need to create a balance. Therefore, you might need to create a more relaxed home and office environment to lower the stress you feel.
High blood pressure can result in deadly heart conditions which is a leading cause of death worldwide. Stress affects us much more than we are willing to admit and getting out of our comfortable zones by taking a walk, watching movies may just be what we need to relax.

Weak immune system
A lot of research studies have linked the strength of the immune system to the many ailments felt by people. When the immune system is at its optimum, it can fight off viruses and destroy them at the onset of an infection. If the system is weakened however, viruses can easily overwhelm the system and thus gain entry into the body.
Yoga and regular exercises build the immune system. Good plant diet including mushrooms, garlic, lemons, leafy greens and berries also strengthen your body’s first line of defense.
Avoiding the consumption of excess alcohol is also a good way of boosting your immune system as excess consumption of alcohol weakens your immune system and makes the body more susceptible to illness and infections. More so, alcohol is a depressant which is surely not a good thing to help reduce stress.
Infertility

Due to the fact that for you to be fertile, there has to be some form of hormonal balance, stress can be responsible for your inability to get pregnant. If you realise that your hormonal balance is altered, you can rebalance it by engaging in relaxing activities such as meditation and light walks. Eat fresh meals and ensure you don’t overwork yourself.
Stress has been known to affect ovulation simply because the hypothalamus which is responsible for signally the body to ovulate also controls the release of several hormones. When there’s an imbalance in hormones such as estrogens, progesterone or testosterone, fertility may be impossible.
A lot of research is still being conducted on the ways stress affects infertility. Some women have been known to get pregnant while being on an unhealthy diet and passing through high levels of stress while those who aren’t stressed and are on a healthy diet cannot conceive.

Rashes and breakouts
Sometimes, stress would make itself visible through rashes and breakouts. In this case, it is important you make efforts to reduce it. Having acne all over your face, a sore or the lip or rash on specific areas of your body maybe an indication you’re stressed. If you eat well, don’t be too critical of the rashes as they may be caused by other reasons.

Why not plan something today to lower your stress? It could be listening to relaxing music, reading a book or watching a movie. It could also mean taking up a sport, exercising or using natural remedies to reduce stress. There are an array of activities you can engage in that can help you live a healthy lifestyle. These activities can also help you develop a positive mindset.
Stress is a signal that you need to rearrange certain things about your life for you to continue being the awesome person you are. By cutting down on your stress levels, you’re creating happiness and peace for yourself.

image credit: geneseebaptistchurch.org

Sheriff

Sheriff

Normal everyday dude uniquely different in an everyday manner, a young man that strongly believes in the Nigerian project. I’m a mixture of science, arts and politics. I can be engaged on twitter @SheriffSimply

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