Do you often feel stressed? Do you struggle to cope with your workload? Are you constantly rushing or struggling to get things done? If you answered yes to the above, you may be putting your health at serious risk. When an individual experiences stress, an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus releases stress hormones, in order to prepare the body for “fight or flight”. This is an evolutionary mechanism, and can be helpful in some cases where we may need to act quickly such as if there is an immediate threat, however if this is happening regularly this can be extremely detrimental to your health.
So, what are the potential health risks of chronic stress?
Increased Risk of Cardiac Problems:- Over time, the increased heart rate caused by stress hormone effects can cause high blood pressure, and heart problems such as heart attacks.Insomnia:- Stress hormones make you feel naturally more alert, which can be useful if you need energy to respond to a threat, however if an increased amount is released each day it can lead to sleep disturbances such as insomnia.High Blood Sugar:- Stress causes extra glucose to be released by your liver, which over time can lead to high blood sugar levels and even type 2 diabetes.Stomach Problems:- Stress affects your body’s digestive system, which can lead to stomach aches, nausea and diarrhoea.Low Sex Drive:- A combination of stress and the fatigue that accompanies it can affect your libido and performance in the bedroom (including problems such as erectile dysfunction).Muscle Pain:- Constant stress makes muscles tense up, and over time can lead to tension headaches and backaches.Fertility Problems:- An imbalance of hormones can not only reduce or even stop periods, but makes both men and women less fertile.Poor Mental Health:- While chronic stress itself can have detrimental effects, left unresolved it can lead to more severe mental health diagnoses, such as depression.
So, how can you reduce stress?
Seek professional advice and guidance regarding ways to deal with stress and addressing the route of these feelings.Reduce your workload by letting go of commitments that you cannot manage or asking for more time from your employer.Unload; let family and/or friends know you are struggling, and suggest ways that they may help you.
Source: Dr Julian Existing Website feed