There are so many external lifestyle factors that can cause stress.
Whether it is running late, an impending deadline, a traumatic event or even preparing for a first date, the brain has a powerful capacity to send out stress signals that can have a detrimental impact on the body.
Numerous nervous systems are effected by stress signals and stress hormones and many people do not associate the ‘funny feelings’ they are experiencing in parts of their body with the stress they are experiencing. So, what are the exact effects of stress on the body?
Endocrine and Central Nervous System Issues
Stress can trigger your nervous system’s natural ‘fight or flight’ instinct.
This is triggered by the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which elevate the heart rate to potentially risky levels and force blood around the body to the muscles at a rapid pace. Prolonged stress can severely impact both the heart and arteries.
Compromised Cardiovascular Systems
Many people explain their stress symptoms as an inability to breathe or rapid panting.
Panting or a change in breath can cause harm to the functionality of the respiratory system on a long-term basis. People suffering from existing respiratory problems, such as asthma, can cause severe damage to their health by altering their breathing when stressed.
Stress pumps more blood and oxygen, which causes an increase in blood pressure. Frequent stress, particularly in older stress sufferers, can cause far too much pressure on the heart and can lead to things such as strokes or heart attacks.
The digestive system has a direct link to the brain and suffers significantly during bouts of stress.
Loss of appetite aside, not only is the body producing extra glucose via the liver, the stress hormones can also cause extreme heart burn and acid reflux. The digestive system works faster to digest when stressed, which leads to bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and even nausea.
The digestive system encompasses the stomach and one of the most common causes of stomach ulcers is stress. Removing stomach ulcers often requires invasive surgery.
The body automatically moves to protect itself when stressed. Muscles that are constantly tensed will inevitably cause long term postural issues such as back pain, shoulder pain and muscular aches.
Lessened Desire for Reproduction
Stress is mentally and physically exhausting.
Constant stress uses a lot of hormones, which decreases the natural human sex drive. Extreme prolonged stress can cause impotence, erectile dysfunction and have an extreme impact on a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Lessened Natural Defence System
The body needs a strong immune system to fight off external nasties and to stay healthy.
A common symptom of stress is constantly falling ill or contracting diseases. Stress hormones weaken the immune system and increase the time it takes for illness or wound recovery.
Diagnosis is difficult, but it is important to manage and deal with stress. The effects that a stressful mentality can have on one’s body can affect the overall living standards of that person’s life, both physically and mentally.