How You are Killing Yourself and You Don’t Even Know It!

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

While some people do adapt to on-going stress mentally, it doesn’t change the terrible toll stress is taking on their bodies. It may appear that some people take stress in stride, but inside, quietly, their body and mind is accumulating all the negative effects and one day either the mental or physical health falls apart.

Almost every single organ in the body is affected by stress, including:

  • The Immune System – In the short term, the immune system benefits from stress but over time, the continual presence of cortisol compromises your immune system. This makes you much more susceptible to disease, infections, and illnesses. It will take you much longer to recover, even from small things like a common cold. You will develop a low-grade inflammation and this leads to numerous diseases, even cancer.
  • The Digestive System – The constant flow of stress hormones upsets your stomach and intestines, making it much less efficient at absorbing nutrients from your food, which can lead to weight gain. Many people who feel constant stress develop ulcers and other digestive disorders. Any previous digestive problems are only made worse by chronic stress. You might feel nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation as stress affects how food moves through your body.
  • The Muscles – The muscles in your body, when they are constantly filled with adrenalin, will become very tight and can sometimes cause intense pain. People carry their stress in different muscles, but the most common areas are the neck, shoulders, and back. Many people end up going to chiropractors for stress related muscle tightness.
  • The Brain – When stress does not go away and the brain cannot return to its relaxed state, the body begins to experience physical and emotional changes. You might “fly off the handle” for no reason, suffer from insomnia, or terrible headaches, including cluster headaches. Some people turn to alcohol or drugs for some relief or you might find that you become depressed, irritable, or feel unsociable.
  • The Heart – When your heart rate is increased for long periods of time, like any other muscle in the body, it becomes tired. You can also develop high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke. Many diabetics have lived stressful lifestyles.
  • Libido and the Reproductive System – Stress causes both sexes to have interrupted or lower levels of hormones, which results in a lower sex drive. Women can have irregular menstrual cycles and both sexes can experience infertility problems due to this lack of proper hormones.

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