Effects of Stress on Health

Discover the effects of stress on health and wellness before the health problems discover your body! Long-term or chronic stress is linked to a wide variety of health problems.

Once you get some of these health conditions, they might not be reversible.

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What are the effects of stress on your body?

Under stressful conditions, the pituitary glands make a hormone called adrenocorticoptropic hormone (ACTH) that stimulates the adrenal glands (sitting above the kidney) to release cortisol and adrenaline.

Cortisol causes profound changes in body chemistry and adrenaline increases the heart rate and blood pressure.

Cortisol stimulates the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream, reduces inflammation (to reduce pain) and to allow the blood to clot easier. This is an essential response to allow your body to either "fight" (defend yourself) or to "flight" (run away from the danger).

At night when you rest, cortisol is destroyed and body chemical goes back to normal. However, when you are constantly exposed to stressful situations, this cycle is left in the "on" state all the time and the body becomes "out of balance".

This causes serious damage over time and your body and adrenal glands "wear out" and this leads to all kinds of health problems. Eventually, your entire body "wears out" as well.

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How does stress affect your overall health?


Chronic stress and anxiety is linked to various health disorder such as:

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References for Effects of Stress on Health

Updated: June 20, 2010