Everyone gets stressed from time to time, which is normal and understandable.
Being under heavy periods of stress most of the time can be very harmful to the body. Our body has the ability to react to physical and mental stress.
Some studies have found a link between long periods of stress and the development of various serious diseases, such as heart disease and some types of cancer.
It is believed that stress and all the reactions it entails, were really necessary at a certain stage of the human being. This is because stress was a reaction to defend against various impending dangers, for example, some natural disaster or the attack of a wild animal. These reactions occur due to the high exposure of hormones, the frequent presence of these hormones, is what ends up causing adverse health effects.
We will see in more detail what are some of the side effects that stress can cause:
Increased heart rate. This effect can be a good thing in case the person plans to exercise or do any activity where he/she has to exert him/herself. However, having drastic alterations of the heartbeat very often, ends up tiring the heart and this can cause cardiovascular diseases, an increase in cholesterol and sometimes an excess of fat accumulated in the belly, which can damage other organs.
Cardiovascular problems are also more likely in people who tend to stress a lot. The increased risk of stress is equivalent to smoking 5 cigarettes a day, because stress increases the amount of hormones in the blood and this increases blood pressure.
Blood pressure problems. Studies have shown that when a person is very stressed, blood flow to the muscles and brain increases by up to 40%. As with the heart rate, the increase in blood flow can be useful if the person wishes, for example, to climb a mountain. But over time, this chronic stress creates the ideal conditions for hypertension and in more serious cases, an embolism.
Muscle tension and constant tiredness. When the body is under stress, all muscles stiffen. This causes the muscles to always be in a state of contraction and a feeling of tiredness throughout the body as a result of the effort made by the muscles. Back pain is often associated with this, a chronic muscle contraction.
Weight gain. Being stressed for a long time causes the body to increase levels of cortisol , which is a hormone that in high amounts can cause weight gain.
Digestive problems. When stressed, the energy required for digestion is distributed to external areas such as the heart, head and limbs. This can lead to chronic constipation and some irritable bowel disorders . Long periods of stress can even cause ulcers.
Appetite is also affected with mental and emotional stress. People often look for foods that provide a sense of comfort and false reassurance. This most of the time causes the person to consume a larger amount of food. In others the opposite happens, their appetite decreases and they may even lose weight.
Weak immune system. Red blood cells are responsible for keeping the immune system strong and in good condition. When you go through long periods of stress, these blood cells are affected, which can lead to colds, influenza and other ailments.
Sleep disorders. When a person is subjected to a great deal of mental stress, it causes the person to constantly suffer from sleep disorders, which can cause the person to feel tired frequently and not perform well in his or her activities.
-Other conditions. Stress can trigger other types of disorders , either in the short or long term. These can be: anxiety, depression, migraine, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, memory loss, flu, skin alterations, baldness, among others.
As you can see, it is important to take care of our body from stress and not allow it to affect us to a degree where our health is compromised. Therefore, we should always know how to identify what it is that makes us tense and put into practice some methods that help us to put it under control. In this way, our mind and body will be healthier.