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Health Problems Caused by Stress

How chronic stress causes health problems

Stress is a natural reaction of the human body to any changes that require response and adaptation. Our body responds to such changes using physical, mental and emotional mechanisms. Scientists believe that moderate levels of stress mobilize all our resources and help to achieve required result as well as quickly resolve the problem. However, if stress is severe and lasts for too long, the body starts working to the point of exhaustion, which affects the nervous system and causes decreased immunity.

Stress hormones

The thing is that the nervous system controls the functions of all body systems and organs making them work at the same pace. But stress disturbs this rhythm. Nervous strain promotes the production of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. They cause vascular spasms, make the blood flow more actively and accelerate breathing, which can provoke increased blood pressure, palpitations and stomach cramps.

Chronic stress can cause many problems
Stress is one of modern-day afflictions that can cause some immediate and many long-term
health problems, all of which can lead to serious health issues and diseases.

Chronic stress health problems

The body needs a great deal of efforts to restore its stable condition. If the stress is chronic, then sooner or later it will cause malfunction of the internal organs, especially, if negative emotions and tension are accumulated instead of being released. Stress can cause many health problems including:

Cardiovascular diseases

Tachycardia and hypertension are the two consequences of stress that have negative effects on the heart health. Numerous studies have found a connection between high stress levels and increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers believe that chronic stress promotes the transformation of tau proteins into abnormal ones, which in its turn might cause neurodegenerative diseases that can progress into Alzheimer’s.

Obesity

Excessive blood cortisol concentration associated with chronic stress leads to the accumulation of abdominal fat. Moreover, many people tend to eat their feelings, which consequently results in overweight and obesity.

Diabetes

Sometimes people not only eat their feelings but also form unhealthy eating habits that provoke the development of diabetes. Besides, doctors believe that stress raises the blood levels of glucose in diabetes patients.

Anxiety and depression

It is an established fact that chronic stress is associated with much higher risks of depression and anxiety. Stress throws neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin out of balance, and thus harms appetite, sleep, mood and libido.

Digestive disorders

Gastrointestinal disorders like constant nausea, chronic heartburn, abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation or irritable bowel syndrome are often associated with chronic stress.

Sleep disturbances

Stress can provoke insomnia, nightmares, difficulties falling asleep and waking up in the morning.

References:

10 Health Problems Related to Stress That You Can Fix. http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/10-fixable-stress-related-health-problems#1 

Stress! Don't Let It Make You Sick.
http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2014/stress-and-disease.html

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