Guest post today on–you guessed it–stress, and such an important topic at that!
Stress has significant long-term health implications for the body. The mind and body feed each other: what ails the mind can manifest in the body. Long-term stress and anxiety create a negative impact on physical health. Therefore, in order to live better in this modern world it is great to develop stress coping skills to avert the negative impact of stress on the body.
When the body is under stress, it releases stress hormones to start a fight or flee response. This becomes problematic when stress hormones are allowed to remain. When the body is under stress, the blood pressure is elevated, together with the pulse. When things go back to normal the parasympathetic nervous system should be able to return to a rest state. However, under chronic stress, blood pressure is constantly high, which is harmful, and potentially leading to a number of diseases.
German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said that the digestive system was the center of all human emotions. He was probably right in some sense. It is helpful to know that digestion is controlled by the enteric nervous system that could easily be disrupted when there is something that is stressing the central nervous system. Stress is known to cause a lot of digestive disorders such as diarrhea, constipation and indigestion. The amount of intestinal bacteria decreases when the body is dealing with a stressful situation. At this time, your digestive system becomes less efficient in absorbing nutrients. When left unabated, long term stress can cause irritable bowel symptoms, which could indicate more dire situations, including stomach ulcers which when left untreated or other serious conditions and could also be fatal.
Wrinkles and fine lines
Your skin takes a beating if you are under chronic stress. Elevated stress hormone levels can lead to more free radicals produced by the body. More free radicals in the body can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress makes the skin less elastic as free radicals are responsible in destroying collagen and elastin. This results in the acceleration of the aging process. A study published by the American Academy of Dermatology discussed how stress can show on the skin and nails. The study outlined how stress control is needed in order to avert outward signs of stress from manifesting and ruining natural beauty. Acne, psoriasis and eczema, among others, often get worse when a person is under stress.
Stress can make people suffer from hypertension. Chronic stress means that the blood pressure is elevated which increases the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases and even renal failure. While there is no proof that stress causes long-term hypertension, the observational evidence is clear. Hypertension can result from other behaviors that are stress-induced as well, such as binge eating, alcohol and substance abuse, and poor sleeping, all of which can also spike stress hormones, thus creating a negative feedback cycle.
Diabetes risks are often tied to endocrine problems. Chronic stress forces the body to produce hormones in the wrong amounts or at the wrong times. In the case of diabetes, stress makes the pancreas over-secrete the hormone insulin. This could lead to insulin resistance and could result to developing type-2 diabetes. Aside from diabetes, the impact of stress on the endocrine system can also create health issues such as hyperthyroidism, along with increasing the risk of obesity.
Chronic stress often can disrupt normal sleeping patterns. It can cause under or over sleeping. Disruptions in sleep impact almost every area of health. Lack of sleep can make it difficult for the body to combat certain infections as the immune system gets impaired. It may cause heart and lung health issues and could contribute to obesity. Less sleep impacts mental wellness that may result in diseases such as depression and other mental health issues.
Stress is inevitable but can be controlled. Never let stress ruin the quality of your life.
About the Author:
Ryan Rivera writes about stress, anxiety and panic attacks. For more information regarding these topics, you can search for “Calm Clinic”.