It’s just a little stress, don’t worry about it – I’m sure your family and friends have told you that. Well, everyone gets stressed, so you shouldn’t be too concerned, right? Actually, you should be.
Stress, especially chronic stress, has a lot of negative effects on the body. Unfortunately, they can’t be cured by just medicine for fever. Here are some of these negative effects:
Affects your immune system
Because your body has been worn out by stress, it follows suit that the immune system will be less effective in combating viruses and bacteria. To make matters worse, those who have autoimmune diseases, a kind of disease wherein the antibodies attack the bodies’ cells, experience a grave exacerbation of their conditions.
People who are predisposed to diabetes, when stressed, become more likely to develop the disease. A popular theory for this is because the stress causes the immune system to destroy insulin-producing cells. Although people with diabetes can live normal lives, the disease has a lot of implications. Aside from the fact that people who are diabetic need to limit their sugar intake, their wounds heal much slower. To make things matter worse, the disease can lead to cataracts, amputations, numbness of the limbs, and kidney failure.
Stress increases one’s blood pressure. And if one constantly has high blood pressure, then he or she may develop hypertension. This medical condition may be common for adults, but it doesn’t make the diseases it leads to – heart conditions, stroke, and kidney diseases, to name a few – any less life-threatening. To make matters worse, the usual comfort foods include a lot of salt and fats, which can both worsen one’s blood pressure and cardiac condition.
Acute stress can cause difficulty of breathing, shortness of breath, and hyperventilation, which can cause some people panic attacks. Also, stress triggers asthma, and aggravates chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as emphysema. This is dangerous, as oxygen cutoff, even for a few minutes, is dangerous to the body and the brain.
Loss of sleep
Sleep is the time when your body is repairing itself and is conserving its energy. Also, it is when the brain is processing the different information it has received throughout the day. If a person is stressed, not only is the number of hours of sleep affected, but also its quality. And when a person loses sleep, he is more likely to develop cardiac conditions, hypertension, and diabetes. Also, sleep loss affects a person’s mental acuity. In fact, studies have shown that those who have little time and poor quality of sleep are more likely to encounter accidents and injuries.
Some people who are stressed each more than they usually do whenever they’re stressed. Also, there are those who turn to alcohol and cigarette whenever they’re stressed. These three things can cause acid reflux, and the constant exposure of the esophageal tissues with the gastric acids may lead to cancer. Also, stress can cause stomach ulcers and affect bowel movement, causing either loose bowel movement or constipation.
Although the effects of stress may vary from person to person, it is undeniable that stress indeed has a negative impact on our health. So instead of stressing over stress, stay strong and fight it.