Stress – Stress Health

March 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Stress

There are certain stress symptoms that have not been borne out by research. Ulcers, for example, were always thought to be a stress disorder. But, although stress may produce acids that could increase ulcer discomfort, modern research has pointed out that certain genetic factors combined with specific stomach viruses should be blamed for this. However, more evidence is coming up of how some stress health effects may be influencing symptoms of stress.

The more primary and blatant symptoms of stress include excessive muscle tension, headaches, rapid heartbeat, interrupted digestion, and high blood pressure. However, there are also more serious potential stress symptoms that could last longer and lead to chronic stress.

A number of studies by the National Institutes of Health have greatly proven that stress actually affects the immune system, both in positive and negative ways.

Stress is defined as an individual’s ‘fight or flight’ response to perceived threats, so it can have positive effects. Since stress tends to release biochemicals that could potentially heal bite and puncture infections, this stress theory makes sense, most of all if evolution is taken under consideration and how the immune system should deal with such stress symptoms. This effect can only be harmful if this response to stress lasts for a long time.

One result would be that the immune system actually alleviates stress. This could happen if the body runs out of chemicals and no longer has anything to act on, making chemicals dissolve until more are made to counteract reactions. This will then result to a higher risk of infections and a lower resistance to colds and other viruses and illnesses.

Another result would be general tiredness and maybe even depression. Stress can last for a long time, and when it does, the feedback between the symptoms of stress and the effects of stress makes the person believe that there is no stress relief, thus fulfilling the prophecy on its own.

Chronic stress could also bother the body’s circulatory system by releasing stress hormones during the ‘fight or flight’ trigger that will get used up the more activities are done physically, resulting in physiological stress on the body.

High blood pressure heightens physical tension on blood vessel walls. The body will then respond by healing the micro-tears and scar tissue is made, which will lessen the ease of blood flow. If this goes on for long periods of time, or if it is in the genes of a person, heart attacks may occur. Blood vessels may narrow, causing an insufficient delivery of blood and oxygen when they are most needed. Rheumatoid arthritis is also more at risk of becoming worse, when stress is involved.

Make sure you constantly keep both your mental and physical well-being safe from stress by practicing techniques for stress reduction. Try to adopt a philosophy that helps will help alleviate the stress in your life. Think about your health.