Chronic stress is a psychophysical alteration that remains constant and can cause severe damage to health. Its origins have been investigated and the results indicate that stress is the progressive consequence of anxiety that may or may not be rational. This topic deals with the main health disorders of chronic stress.

Muscle stress should not be confused with nervous stress, the first arises as a consequence of physical actions, and the second by emotional factors. At this point, the assertion about the origins of chronic stress arises , research points in one direction, the brain. This is where a series of actions occurs as a result of constant concern.

Chronic stress and serious health disorders

The stressed brain releases a considerable amount of hormones that throws the body’s function out of balance. It is at this point where emotions and physical state are related, since the former leads an action that damages internal systems. Among these disorders, some specific ones have been identified, such as:

Heart attacks

It is not the disease as such, but the risks of suffering from it, studies reveal that suffering from stress and not releasing it increases the chances of suffering from the heart by up to 21 times. This is surprising when compared to the risk of heart attacks during a workout, which in fact does not exceed seven times.

The technical explanation is given by the release of cortisol, and what is cortisol? It is a steroid hormone that is released in response to stress, its action increases blood sugar levels. When chronic stress appears, its release is excessive and increases inflammatory sensitivity that damages both veins and arteries of the heart.

Direct relationship with diabetes

When a person lives under a lot of pressure, it tends to raise their anxiety levels, this in turn, increases the markers called interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein. Both markers act in the regulation of blood sugar, when they are altered, the development of type 2 diabetes begins. Socioeconomic studies reveal that people living on the edge of poverty frequently suffer from this type of disease.

Stress causes stomach problems

Stress is a very important factor in the detection of problems in the digestive system, it includes:

  • Nutrients are not absorbed efficiently in the digestive process
  • There is not enough oxygen in the intestine
  • Slow metabolism due to less blood flow to the intestines
  • Significantly less enzyme production in the intestine

It’s simple: Chronic stress and the negative emotions that go with it, such as sadness, anger, and anxiety, also create chronic diseases in the digestive system.

Something very important that has already been studied and yielded very important answers on the subject of stress in relation to the digestive system or digestion, is that it is not only that stress causes disorders in this organ, it is also proven that disorders digestive systems in a feedback cycle with stress, generate psychological or emotional disorders, because the digestive system and the brain are so intimately connected that they can be seen as a single organ.


Various disorders

The prolonged stress causes damage to brain cells that are no longer being annulled perform its function. The direct consequence of this problem is demonstrated through the loss of short-term memory or the null retention of newly learned actions.

Chronic stress has also been shown to disrupt the entire neuroendocrine and immune systems. From this point on, a degenerative process begins on the surface of the brain that results in Alzheimer’s disease . Weight gain is also added, and if there is weight gain, cholesterol levels get out of control, giving way to the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Stress alters the immune response

Another health disorder as a result of continuous stress occurs at the level of the immune system. When the brain is under a lot of stress, it sends out racing signals to make more epinephrine and norepinephrine. As a consequence, the blood vessels increase and the genesis of malignant masses begins.

Various studies have revealed that chronic stress increases the chances of cancer spreading . Cortisol comes back into action and accelerates the production of specific hormones that, being steroids, create incoherent signals that stem cells cannot understand and, as a defense mechanism, increase the amount of antigens that, instead of helping, severely damage health.

According to neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky, the following diseases are the most common that are caused or worsened by stress:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Infertility and irregular cycles
  • Frequent colds
  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficult to focus
  • Loss of memory
  • Changes in appetite
  • Digestive problems and dysbiosis

Some factors that cause chronic stress

  • You feel that control of the situation is getting out of hand.
  • You don’t know what will happen to the situation, how difficult it will get, there are no signs of how this can take a more stable path for your emotions and how long it will take as well.
  • You feel like there is no way out of the challenge.
  • You interpret the situation as if it is going to get worse all the time.
  • You feel alone, you do not have support to trust your situation, you do not even have psychological support and it is difficult for you to get it.

Shift to a positive attitude

Creating a space for yourself to accommodate positivism, through your healthiest emotions of joy, optimism, hope, cause rapid changes in your cells through the release of biochemical substances from the brain that naturally make the body feel good.

We know that, temporarily, these states can also be created artificially through medications or drugs, alcohol, etc., but those same high levels of enforphins and dopamine can be achieved with the positive attitude that we can all generate in a natural way simply by thinking different.

For example, attitude comes from a change of thought. When you feel devastated and very stressed, go with the person you feel most comfortable with and give them a 10 second hug. This simple fact can cause biochemical and physical reactions in your body and significantly improve your emotional state, therefore your physical health.

Health stress disorders continue to rise, and the reasons are diverse. We are in the century called “rush”, and as is evident, the pace of life increases with the passing of the years bringing with it immediate problems such as anxiety and stress. There are several ways to combat stress and thus avoid alterations in health, each person depends on taking care of their well-being.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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