We all battle with stress every now and then. Our jobs often demand difficult deadlines and the pressure can mount up. A healthy amount of stress is no bad thing. It can push you to work to your best and get great results. However, there is a dark side to stress. Demanding jobs that never let up and provide little reward can be very damaging. If you’re suffering from chronic stress levels, seek advice immediately.
Don’t ignore stress as just ‘par for the course’. Yes, we all go through stressful periods, but if it’s an everyday occurrence, it can have a huge effect on your health. It can aggravate existing or underlying problems. It can manifest in panic attacks and anxiety. More worryingly, it can create brand new, dangerous health problems. Here are just some of the major issues that stress can cause.
Depression is intrinsically linked to high stress levels. A relentless, crushing work schedule can beat down your ambition and passions. It will drain your energy, both physically and emotionally. It lowers the dopamine levels in your brain. These are the chemicals that provide the passionate, feel good jitters in your mind. When stress dominates, these chemicals disappear and it’s easier for depression to creep in.
Quite simply, chronic stress leads to a higher blood pressure. This puts a lot more strain on your heart and the blood flow around your body. Over time, this can build up into a serious problem. Work stress quickens your heart rate to unhealthy levels which becomes very dangerous. If your company offers a group health insurance, take advantage of this quickly. If you suspect stress is having an effect on your heart, medical help will start to reverse the problem.
Stress has both a direct and indirect link to diabetes. The direct link is the increased glucose levels that occur when stressed. When you incur chronic stress, your glucose level is raised for a long period of time. The indirect effect is the tendency to quell stress with excessive drinking and eating. It is a link that is well founded in science and the excess sugar intake can cause diabetes.
Scientists don’t quite understand why, but stress fat tends to gather in the tummy area. It’s linked to higher levels of cortisol which is the reason for the fat build up. Tummy fat can be a more dangerous problem than elsewhere on the body.
You’ve probably heard the myth that stress gives you stomach ulcers. It is just that, a myth. However, it can exacerbate other intestinal and stomach problems. Stress feeds intestinal trouble like heartburn and IBS.
Scientists have discovered a link between stress and asthma rates. It can either aggravate an existing asthma problem or develop a new one entirely. Asthma is another problem that has indirect relations to stress. People with chronic stress often turn to smoking which will severely impact asthma problems.
If you’re suffering with long term stress from work or personal issues, don’t shrug it off. This stress can reveal itself in many other health problems as we’ve explained. Take steps to reduce it and stay healthy.