The Effects That Stress Has On Your Body

by Healthy American Male Staff

In order to live a long and happy life, you need to avoid stress. The hormones associated with prolonged stress can wreak havoc on your body. Even short term stress can result in a few health concerns that definitely want to avoid.

Stress can damage your teeth.

You have probably noticed that stress can sometimes cause you to clench your jaw more often than average. Too much stress can make you train the muscles in your face to remain tense for longer periods of time. Therefore, clenching your jaw can actually become a constant habit if you do it often enough that your jaw becomes unable to properly relax. After experiencing stress, you might start grinding your teeth while you sleep. You may even find that you grind your teeth during the day when you are not thinking about it. As a result, your teeth can chip. Teeth grinding can also lead to cavities, certain jaw issues, other dental concerns, and even migraines.

It can make you gain some weight.

Stress can cause various hormone imbalances. One of the hormones that may be thrown out of whack is the hormone responsible for increasing your appetite. As a result, stress can make you hungrier than you should be. After all, there is a biological reason why people get food cravings when stressed. Too much stress eating can lead to weight gain. It can also cause you to have an unhealthy relationship with food, where you turn to eating to solve your emotional problems. As a result, you will probably find it incredibly difficult to break this habit in order to lose any of the weight you gained.

It can give you digestive issues.

When your body is in stress, your involuntary nervous system does not focus on making sure your digestive system is functioning smoothly. Instead, your fight of flights instincts are probably prioritized. Additionally, stress hormones can negatively impact the way you transport, digest, and absorb nutrients. Therefore, if you are stressed, then your digestive tract might start to work improperly. You may have noticed that serious short term stress might induce a little bit of nausea. If it gets really bad, you might even vomit. Longer term stress can also result in diarrhea, cramps, ulcers, and other issues related to your digestive tract.

It makes your blood pressure go up.

Since stress will cause your involuntary nervous system to focus on your fight or flight instincts, your body will think that it needs to make sure that all your muscles are prepared to react to danger. In order to send nutrient rich blood to all your limbs, your blood pressure is going to increase. If your blood pressure is too high for too long, then it can take a toll on your cardiovascular system. Your heart muscles might get damaged from all the work and your blood vessels can get weaker or fill up with clots. Eventually, you can get heart disease,

It will give you achy joints.

Inflammation is an immune system response that should only occur in order to fight off infections. However, inflammation can also occur unnecessarily as a result of an autoimmune disorder. Additionally, stress can cause small amounts of inflammation because it can lead to certain chemical reactions that cause damage to the cells in your body. This cell damage will not cause enough inflammation to put your joints in pain unless your stress is consistently present for an extremely long time. However, if you already have some inflammation for some sort of autoimmune disorder, stress can definitely trigger or exacerbate the joint pain associated with these conditions.

It can make your acne bad.

Adults do not normally get all that much acne, but if your skin is breaking out, then you are probably stressed out about something. Even very short term stress can result in certain skin reactions. The hormones associated with stress can affect certain processes that occur in your skin. Cortisol, a hormone heavily associated with stress, will cause your skin cell turnover rate will increase. Cortisol can also increase your skin’s oil production rate. As a result, stress can cause acne, rashes, and other skin reactions. Although your face is definitely pretty vulnerable to stress, it may not be the only part of your skin that is impacted. The skin throughout your body may respond poorly to stress.

It induces constant exhaustion.

Without the ability to properly relax, you might start to become sleep deprived. Your body relies on your parasympathetic nervous system in order to rest. Unfortunately, this part of your nervous system is not adequately activated during times of high stress. Therefore, you might have difficulty falling and staying asleep, which means you might start to feel tired all the time. However, even if you are well rested, stress can still result in fatigue. After all, stress can tense you up and then wear you down. Additionally, the small amounts of inflammation caused by stress can take its toll on your ability to stay sufficiently energized.

It gives you many headaches.

Most scientists agree that tension headaches are associated with being stressed out about something. Stress hormones can raise your heart rate, which might make your head pound a little harder than you are used to. Additionally, stress can make you overwork your entire mind and body. You may start to experience anxiety symptoms and you might start to become much more of a pessimist than you used to. Recent research shows that these types of negative thoughts can actually result in tension headaches. Furthermore, stress and tension can cause some of your neurons to get a little over excited, which sometimes results in migraines.

You definitely want to do whatever you can in order to avoid stress. Sometimes, to stay relaxed, you would have to change your whole livelihood, which is not necessarily advisable, but you can always engage in stress reducing activities including meditation or counseling. Counseling can also be beneficial if your stress is associated with a serious mental health concern. If you do not properly address your stress, it can cause certain medical concerns, so you should always reach out to a healthcare provider if you are concerned about your elevated stress levels.

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