Stress and anxiety could affect the body in surprising ways.
Stressful situations trigger a fight-or-flight response in your body. Your brain orders the body to release stress hormones. It is the body’s way to help you stay alert, focused and ready to react quickly. But anxiety can cause these stress hormones to keep pumping day after day and eventually harm your physical health.
Here are some surprising effects of prolonged anxiety and stress on your body:
Headaches: Constant stress and anxiety can trigger and intensify tension headaches.
Increased Depression: Chronic stress can drain you emotionally and lead to depression.
Insomnia: Stress makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, which can lead to insomnia. Not getting enough sleep is extremely unhealthy for your mind and body, ultimately leading to more severe health conditions.
Weakened Immune System: Long-term stress weakens your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to viral infections and frequent illnesses.
Tense Muscles: Stress makes muscles tense, and chronic stress can lead to tension-related headaches and backaches.
Rapid Breathing: When you are stressed, the muscles that help with your breathing are tensed, and this can leave you short of breath.
Heartburn: Stress increases stomach acid production, which could lead to heartburn or make it worse.
Stomachache: Stress affects your body’s digestive system and could lead to stomachaches, nausea, diarrhoea, and other digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that causes vomiting, diarrhoea, or constipation.
High Blood Sugar: Stress triggers the liver to release glucose into your bloodstream. Over time, this can put you at risk for type 2 diabetes.
High Blood Pressure: Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to tighten, which raise your blood pressure.
Risk Of Heart Attack: A constant increased heart rate and high blood pressure could damage your arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack.
Pounding Heart: Stress makes your heart pump faster. Anxiety can cause rapid heart rate, palpitations, and chest pain.
Fertility Problems: Stress can interfere with the reproductive system in both men and women and may make it harder to conceive.
Low Sex Drive: The fatigue that comes with long-term stress can negatively impact your libido.
Erectile Dysfunction: The brain plays a vital role in the process of an erection, and stress can hinder this.
Missed Periods: Fluctuating hormones caused by stress can throw your menstrual cycle off or stop it altogether in severe cases.
In general, everyone suffers from anxiety now and again. However, if it becomes chronic, it will negatively affect your health and quality of life.
Anxiety is real and complicated, but it is treatable. If you need help to control it and create a more manageable life, please contact one of our Mental Health Professionals, or call Life Path Health’s 24/7-Helpline on 072-7900-506.