Stress is a physical response, in which the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing hormones and chemicals, including cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine to prepare the body for physical activity.
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Secretion of hormones can cause a number of reactions, such as blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions like digestion and decreases brain function. Stress can feel like worry, cranky, headache and hard to concentrate.Usually people think that stress is connected with the mind, but actually, research shows entire body can be affected by the stress.
Long-Term Effects of Stress
Stress can be emotional, physical or job-related. Some stress is actually good for health, however, if a person is under pressure for a long period of time, he/she can experience the chronic stress which has very negative effects on the body. When a person is under emotional, mental or physical stress it affects the nervous system and causes hypothalamus, which releases the Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). People Also Read: How to Mitigate the Effects of Air Pollution
CRH then activates the pituitary gland and secrete Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH then stimulates the adrenal cortex to release cortisol which is connected with the stress increases blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Long-term effects of stress on body parts including heart, lungs, digestive tract, skin and the liver.
- Effect of stress on the heart: Stress can increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and also increases blood cholesterol levels, which can build on the walls and lead to blood clots and impact the blood flow to the heart. The process will increase changes of heart diseases, heart attack and heart failure.
- Effect of stress on the lungs: The respiratory system response to stress leading to increase in breathing, when the body does high breathing it leads to hyperventilation condition which is an abnormal breathing pattern. And too much stress can trigger asthma and other chronic lung diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
- Effect of stress on the digestive tract: Chronic life stress may be linked to food intake by a person. Overeating and unhealthy eating can also lead to weight gain and obesity.
- Effect of stress on the skin: Increase in constant stress can lead to several skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
- Effect of stress on the liver: Under stress or stress releasing hormones, it increases blood sugar levels, and thus increases the chances of type II diabetes.
Treatments Available For Stress
There are several ways of treating stress including:
- Talking treatments
- Medication like the use of sleeping pills
- Ecotherapy such as improving we well-being and self-esteem.
- Complementary and alternative therapies including yoga, acupuncture and massage. [ People Also Like: 20 Ways To Help A Partner Living With Mental Illness]
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