Everyone suffers stress at some point in their life. The death of a loved one, a job change and even any daily responsibility can trigger a period of stress (or chronic stress). When a person is under pressure, it is usually more irascible.
Although many scientific studies endorse short-term stress as a key element in survival, in the long term the consequences it brings to the body can be devastating if we do not remedy it.
Why does stress make you fat?
Irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches and insomnia are among the most cited consequences by specialists, all of them referred to symptoms related to behavior or mental state. But adrenaline and cortisol can also affect and weaken different organs or parts of the body. There is growing evidence of links between poor stress management and physical illness.
Digestive system and stress
Heartburn, reflux, swelling or constipation are some of the most uncomfortable long-term effects when stress becomes chronic. In addition, in response to this situation, the liver produces sugar that goes directly to the bloodstream.
Increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Stress can affect digestion and how nutrients are absorbed in the intestine.
It can lead to deficiencies in mental health, memory and learning, and worse metabolic regulation.
Sexuality and reproductive system
If there is something that experts agree on, it is that stress is exhausting for both the body and the mind. It is not uncommon to lose sexual desire in times of high stress. If the stress is maintained for a long time, a man’s testosterone levels may begin to decrease. This can interfere with sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress can also increase the risk of infection for male reproductive organs such as the prostate and testicles. For women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle. It can lead to irregular, heavier or more painful periods. Chronic stress can also magnify the physical symptoms of menopause.
The torrent of hormones that releases stress reduces the body’s response to outside invaders. Viruses, bacteria and other agents harmful to health have it easier to penetrate our body. Stress has a lot of negative effects on our body. When you are stressed, you are more susceptible to viral diseases. The flu and the common cold, as well as other infections, are the most common, but stress can also increase the time it takes to recover from an illness or injury.
The muscles vs. Stress
Muscle tension as a result of stress can cause headaches, back pain, shoulders and body aches. But if all these internal symptoms were not enough, chronic stress favors the appearance of imbalances in behavior, such as eating disorders or drug or alcohol abuse. It is difficult to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role or in any part of the body that is not affected.
Heart and respiratory system
If you already have a respiratory problem such as asthma or emphysema, stress can make breathing more difficult. In stressful situations, the heart also pumps faster. The hormones cause blood vessels to constrict and divert more oxygen to the muscles, which increases blood pressure. As a result, frequent stress causes the heart to work too much for too long. When blood pressure rises, so does the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.