How does Stress Affect Health?

Stress is the response of the human body to changes that need adjustments. This response includes physical, emotional, mental, and psychological reactions. Stressful situations induce the brain to go into “fight or flight” mode.

This enables humans to give quick responses.

The “fight or flight” mode is induced by stress hormones. These hormones are adrenalin, dorpamine, cortisol, noradrenalin, and endorphins. When these hormones are pumped into the blood stream, they cause the body to have a surge of energy.

The said hormones also speed up a person’s heart rate, blood flow, brain activity, and breathing. It also halts the digestion. This is to conserve energy and induce muscle tension.

Not all kinds of stress are bad or harmful. Eustress is a positive form of stress. It makes people feel excited and happy. A bit of stress can keep the human brain alert.

But stress can also harm the body. This can be negative to a person when there is no more room to slow down and relax. This happens when a person becomes burned out, overworked and tensed.

Too much stress can hurt humans. Mild symptoms include headaches and getting a weaker immune system. A weak immune system causes frequent colds.

Severe and chronic stress can be detrimental. Chronic stress is one of the major causes of health problems today.

Research show that chronic stress is related to the major causes of death. These include heart diseases and cancers.

Unwanted stress may also trigger a number of other diseases. Psychological problems such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and anxiety disorders arise from stress. It can also deteriorate one’s health. Conditions like high cholesterol or hypertension are some examples. These could result to strokes, diabetes, digestive ulcers, and obesity among others.

Stress may also ruin relationships. It causes sexual dysfunction, aggression and the like. This may make an individual function less as a social being.

Stress is also associated to substance abuse. Findings show that a number of people use tobacco, alcohol and drugs to alleviate stress. These substances do nothing to cure stress.

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