Let’s face it—stress is a part of life. In fact, nearly one third of Americans say that stress has a negative effect on their physical and/or mental health. The first step to controlling stress is to recognize the symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, many of us are so used to living in a constant state of stress that we don’t realize it until we hit a tipping point. If you have any of the symptoms below, your stress might be making you sick.
You’re putting on weight.
Long-term stress can make noticeable difference on your waistline. Stress ignites cravings for high-calorie foods—and not often of the healthy variety. When you’re stressed out, your body produces more hunger-producing hormones called glucocorticoids, increasing your desire to eat.
You keep getting headaches.
If you find yourself suddenly suffering from headaches, you might be too stressed. Stress releases chemicals that can cause changes to blood vessels in the brain, which can trigger headache. Also, you tend to tense your muscles when stressed out, which also may cause a headache.
You’re breaking out.
The stress hormone cortisol can increase your skin’s oil production, causing your pores to clog. In addition to breakouts, stress can cause other skin reactions.
Your blood pressure is high.
Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations; when you perceive a threat a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury—commonly called “fight-or-flight” stress response. This response elicits a rise in blood pressure, which isn’t an issue if it’s only temporary. However, if you’re constantly stressed with an elevated blood pressure, it may cause damage and blockages in your arteries.
You’re grinding your teeth.
Stress can cause you to grind your teeth—both during the day and at night. Teeth grinding can lead to fractures, cavities, and a variety of other dental issues.
Your hair is falling out.
Stress can cause the body’s immune system to attack your hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
Don’t worry (more than you already are), help is available.
Stress is inevitable, what is most important is how you handle it. If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, talk to a doctor. CareWell is open seven days a week, ready to evaluate your symptoms and figure out a treatment plan to handle the stress in your life.