How Stress Affects Health

Stress is a part of life. Any change around you that requires your body to adjust and react in response is stress. Our body reacts to these changes with mental, physical and emotional responses. Anything that you do or any event that happens in your life will put stress on your mind and body. Stress may affect your health although you might not realize it. Stress affects your behavior, feelings, thoughts, and body. Unchecked stress can contribute to different health issues including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Stress as an indicator of poor health

Stress is a natural mental and physical experience of life. Normal stress can be handled by our body but chronic stress will impact our overall health negatively. During the times of stress, levels of cortisol hormone increases which may increase the cravings for fat and sugar. Stress is clearly correlated to weight gain which is associated with many health problems. Stress triggers hair loss, premature aging and the risk of stroke. Stress becomes more harmful for health when people use drugs, tobacco or alcohol to retrieve their stress. Stress can play an important role in heart problems, skin conditions, arthritis, anxiety, and asthma.

Below are some most common heath issues caused by stress:

Headaches: stress can raise and trigger tension headaches.

Depression: stress can let you down emotionally and cause depression.

Heartburn: chronic stress increases the stomach acid production which may lead to worse heartburn.

Insomnia: stress makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep that leads to insomnia.

Weak immune system: long-term stress makes your immune system weak and your body becomes more exposed to infections.

Breathing disturbances: the muscles that help us breath become tensed up due to stress and may cause shortness of breath.

Tense muscles: stress makes muscles tense up and leads to backaches and tension headaches.

Irregular menstrual cycle: stress causes hormonal fluctuations that can throw your periods off or stop it altogether in several cases.

Low sex drive: usually stress is accompanied by fatigue which can affect your libido and decrease the sex drive. Sometimes stress can diminish the sex desire.

Erectile dysfunction: brain plays a vital role in the process of erection and stress can meddle with erection process causing erectile dysfunction.

Fertility problems: stress interferes with both male and female reproductive systems and may make it harder to conceive or cause other fertility issues.

Stomach ache: stress intervenes with the digestive system which can cause stomach aches, nausea, and other stomach troubles.

High blood pressure: stress hormones tighten the blood vessels which raise your blood pressure.


The effects of stress reach almost every part of the body. Stress increases the production of cortisol and adrenalin hormones in the body that may increase the heart rate and blood flow to muscles and many more. Cortisol also hampers the neurotransmitters of the brain that make it difficult to recapture memories. The lengthened stress puts your health at serious risk. To reduce the possibility of chronic stress, cultivate better habits like exercising and eating a balanced diet.


Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person due to lifestyle, healthy eating, body type and dedication to the program. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.