Chronic mental stress produces vast physical impact on people. These effects are traced to the consistently high hormones in the body that leads to various physical changes in the body, sending you to your local Lutz chiropractor for some much-needed adjustments or massages. These effects can be more understood through the following discussion:
The Effects of Stress in the Chemical Environment of the Body
Stress is a normal occurrence in any one’s life. It causes a brief fight or flight response through the activation of the sympathetic nervous system causing the release of hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. Aside from this catecholamine, a hormone produced by the adrenal cortex, which is cortisol is also produced. All these chemicals in the body act to adapt to stress. Normally, after a person has dealt with stress, the sympathetic nervous system downgrades and the parasympathetic nervous system takes over to allow the person to relax. However, in the case of chronic mental stress, the sympathetic nervous system fails to relax causing the increase in the stress hormones longer.
This chronic elevation of stress hormones, especially corstisol, eventually leads to the negative impact of stress in the body, subsequently leading to stress-related illness. Most often than not, chronic stress reduces the attention span, lowers objectivity and leads to poor memory and judgment. Aside from these psychological effects, physical effects may arise such as:
- Hormonal acne and other skin conditions
A common effect of mental stress is the eruption of acne. If you previously have a clear skin and suddenly developed acne breakouts, then stress can be the problem. Cortisol increases the oiliness of the skin, which becomes a good environment for bacteria to thrive. Stress also leads to unexplained skin rashes, eczema and psoriasis.
- Heart conditions
A serious effect of chronic mental stress is the development of various health conditions such as heart failures. Mental stress in the form of excessive competition and others can have significant effects on heart health. Moreover, indulging in salty and fatty foods during periods of stress add to the negative effects of stress on the cardiovascular system.
Hypertension or an elevated blood pressure is another negative effect of stress. Prolonged elevation of catecholamine eventually leads to increased blood pressure.
- Inflammatory disorders
Another potential physical effect of chronic stress is the development of inflammatory disorders including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and stress ulcers. Peptic ulcer disease is a potential serious consequence of stress that starts as hyperacidity and eventually leads to ulceration when stress persists.
- Reduced immunity
People who are faced with chronic mental stress are more likely to develop infections that those who don’t. Certain autoimmune diseases and allergies also become more severe with stress.
- Metabolic disorders
Metabolic disorders such as diabetes can also be a consequence of chronic stress especially to those with existing risk factors for the condition. The development of diabetes can be traced to the inflammatory effects on the pancreas leading to insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
- Back pains
A common effect of stress is the development of back pains as a result of tightening of the back muscles.
These are just the common effects of stress in the body. Other studies support the role of stress in the development of certain cancers in individuals with no other risk factors for the development of malignancies.
Indeed, stress can affect people in many ways. So to help prevent these health consequences, appropriate stress-relieving activities should be employed.