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What are the Effects of Stress?
“I’m stressed out all the time. What can this do to me?”
A little bit of stress is normal. It is your body’s natural way of responding to scary or unfamiliar situations. However, the effects of stress over prolonged periods with no relief or relaxation can cause serious mental and physical problems. Some of these issues include chronic fatigue, depression, digestive issues such as an upset stomach, headaches and back pain.
If you remain in stressful situations these are a few of the things which may be happening to your body:
Your Immune System
While short bursts of stress may boost your immune system, long-term stress can leave you more susceptible to infection and worsen skin conditions such as eczema, hives and acne.
Long-term stress can cause your arteries to narrow and elevate your cholesterol levels. This increases your chances of having heart disease, a heart attack and a stroke.
Your Nervous System
When your brain senses stress it triggers the release of chemicals including epinephrine (aka adrenaline) and cortisol. High levels of these over a prolonged period of time can impair memory and increase your odds for depression.
Your Endocrine Glad
Stress also triggers your liver to produce more blood sugar. This gives you the kick of energy (aka adrenaline). But, consistently high blood sugar also puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Moments of high stress can make you breath faster and often leave you feeling short of breath or hyperventilating. In the long term, this can make you susceptible to upper-respiratory infections.
Your Reproductive System
Stress can lengthen, shorten or stop your periods. While many women might welcome skipping their menstrual cycle, this may cause problems with fertility. And sometimes, stress can even make your period more painful.
If you are experiencing high levels of stress in your personal or professional life, you don’t have to live with it. Massage and other stress relieving techniques can help you reduce and eliminate the stress placed on your body. By treating your stress now, you can save yourself from the potential long-term side effects.
Contact Belltown Spine & Wellness today to find out how we can help you relieve the stress in your life.