Woman stressing out while her children play in the background

5 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Health

According to the American Psychological Association, stress has become a major health problem in the United States, and around 77% of people say stress affects their physical health. 

We all experience stress at some point, and knowing how it affects our personal and family health is essential to manage it properly. In this article, let’s look at five of the most common ways stress affects our overall well-being.

Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common physical symptoms associated with stress. The exact cause of this is not well understood, but it is thought to be related to how stress impacts certain hormones in our body, which affect the way we feel pain. 

Headaches are also closely related to sleep. When you’re stressed, it’s common for your sleep schedule to be disrupted or for you to experience difficulty falling asleep. This can lead to various health problems like poor concentration, fatigue, and irritability.

Digestive issues

Stress can affect our digestive systems in multiple ways. It can cause ulcers, colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When we are stressed, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for our fight or flight response. This response diverts blood flow to protect vital organs like the heart and brain at the cost of other functions like digestion.

High Blood Pressure

Stress can also cause an increase in blood pressure. Stress is thought to impact our cardiovascular system because when we experience stress, the “fight or flight” response diverts blood flow to our vital organs like the heart and brain at the cost of other functions like digestion. 

This makes it more difficult for your heart to pump blood through your body, which can cause an increase in blood pressure.

Indigestion

Another digestive issue that stress can cause is heartburn or indigestion. When we are stressed, our bodies produce more acid to aid digestion. When there is too much acid, it causes the esophageal sphincter to open, which then causes plenty of acids to go back into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn.

Sleep Issues

Stress also impacts your ability to get a good night’s sleep, so it’s important to find ways to relax before bed and get enough sleep every night. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, it can decrease your ability to focus, slow down your metabolism, and cause you to gain weight. 

Lack of sleep can also increase your risk for a whole host of health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression.

Manage Your Stress

Managing stress is important because it can harm our physical, emotional, and mental health. It can cause everything from headaches and fatigue to more serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. Learning how to manage and cope with stress is essential for maintaining your health and well-being.

Crosspointe Medical Clinic is a trusted family health clinic that offers high-quality and comprehensive medical care. If you’re looking for an experienced specialist to help you with your health concerns, visit our website today to set an appointment.  

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