Stress is a normal reaction of the body. It allows us to cope with certain unforeseen events or adapt to significant changes. However, if it persists and intensifies, it causes damage to our physical and psychic health.
In general, stress causes functional disorders (related to the stimulation of an organ function) and then organic disorders. For example, stress promotes high blood pressure (functional disorder) and increases the risk of cardiac pathology.
What are these stress-related pathologies?
If stress is our ally to react, it presents a real danger to our body if it becomes recurrent. When we stress, the nervous, hormonal, and immune system mobilizes leading to severe disease.
Recurrent stress can lead to different digestive pathologies. It is also one of the main factors of irritable bowel syndrome. This pathology involves abdominal pain, transit disorders (diarrhea and/or constipation), and bloating.
In fact, many digestive disorders can be caused by stress, such as gastrointestinal reflux, peptic ulcer, and inflammatory bowel disease… These are all disorders that can seriously affect our daily lives and should be limited.
Sweaty hands, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and chest pain are symptoms of punctual stress. But when stress persists, it becomes one of the most harmful risk factors for your heart and arteries, like smoking or diabetes.
Stress impacts the cardiovascular system by stimulating the sympathetic system that controls a large part of our unconscious activities such as heartbeat and adrenaline levels. When we are stressed, these biological and physiological manifestations change and could lead to high blood pressure, angina attacks (lack of oxygen in the heart’s arteries), strokes, or myocardial infarction.
The thyroid is an essential hormone in our body. It is responsible for the regulation of body temperature, heart rate, nervous system, digestive tract, and genital system. This hormone level is disturbed by chronic stress leading to hypothyroidism (when the thyroid gland is idle) or hyperthyroidism (when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones uncontrolled).
When hyperthyroidism occurs, all metabolic processes are disrupted: accelerated heart rate, altered intestinal transit (chronic diarrhea), increased sweating, and shortness of breath at exertion… But also irritability, nervousness, hand tremor, and weight loss in a short time.
When we are stressed, our body produced very large quantities of an amine called histamine. this chemical released during an allergic reaction is involved in inflammatory phenomena and could lead to severe skin infections such as Itching, hair loss, redness, pimples, eczema, hives, herpes, and psoriasis.
In women, stress can disrupt the hormonal system and cause certain gynecological disorders: painful periods or irregular cycles, disturbed or delayed ovulation, miscarriages, or premature deliveries.
Muscle tone disorders
Muscle and joint pain is one of the most common diseases of stress or chronic anxiety.
Stress causes an overproduction of adrenaline throughout the body leading to muscle fatigue. That’s why you have the sensation of muscle and joint pain in certain parts of the body, especially at the back or neck level.
How to stop stress-related diseases?
Medications such as anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants can relieve pain and reduce stress. But they do not stop the problem permanently.
To end your anxiety, some therapies such as relaxation, mindful meditation, psychotherapy, or sophrology are much more promising. It gives you the keys to better emotional management, teaches you how to relax quickly, helps you get rid of negative thoughts, and guides you through stressful situations around you.