Topic: Mental

Stress and Your Body Health

Dec 16, 2007
Stress is difficult to avoid: weather changes, work problems, misunderstandings within family and other factors may undermine your health. People react differently to stress; some cope with it quite well while others get ill.

What happens during stress?

Stress enhances brain activity and endocrine system with the release of hormones of adrenal gland. At the same time, vegetative nervous system is activated, increasing blood pressure, heart function and evoking other changes.

Usually a healthy individual may cope with an acute stress quite fast, while an ill person may have such symptoms as difficulty breathing and sleep, emotional overexcitation. Chronic stress that wears you out day after day may worsen your state even more, leading to serious conditions such as hypertension, bronchial asthma, diabetes and others.

Signs of Stress:


If you suffer from chronic stress, your organism will secret adrenaline. Adrenaline, a hormone released by the adrenal medulla in response to stress belongs to the amino group. People that are prone to migraines are very sensitive to these agents.

Healthy tips:

One of the ways to prevent migraines is to avoid eating food that contains other amine tyramine that can be found in caffeine, chocolate, cheese and red wine. If you are used to eat these products during stress, you migraines may become even worse.

High blood pressure

Long-term emotional tension may lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart diseases. Stress may also increase the level of bad cholesterol and you may risk a heart attack or stroke.

Healthy tips:
Eat less salt and more fruits and vegetables. Check you blood pressure regularly - if it is higher than normal you may need to correct it with the help of your therapist.


Stress influences the secretion of hormones, regulating sleep, including serotonin and melatonin. Thus if you suffer from insomnia, the level of cortisol hormone becomes high. Less sleep may not only lead to fatigue but may be detrimental to your overall health state.

Healthy tips:
Take warm bath before sleep - the body temperature drops and this will evoke sleep. Avoid watching TV or computer before sleep.

Colds and flu

When you feel stressed, you organism has to activate all the defense mechanisms, including protection against viruses and bacteria. If you experience constant tension, your immune system triggers defense mechanisms against danger rather than protecting you from illnesses.

Healthy tips:
Take vitamins with zinc and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Try to do regular exercises and take some of the herbs that have immune boosting properties.


Sensitive women often have difficulty when trying to conceive. Hormone oxytocin released when you are stressed, that also stimulates contraction of the uterus and ejection of milk after giving birth, may hinder conception.

Healthy tips:
If you have difficulty conceiving, your therapist may recommend you to shorten your work day. You may also need psychological help or you may learn yoga for relaxation.

Weight fluctuations
Stress influences the secretion of insulin, which is responsible for metabolism. When you are stressed, insulin resistance may become a factor why you put on weight.

Healthy tips:
Change your diet habits and reduce the consumption of food containing carbohydrates as they lead to insulin fluctuations. Try to avoid eating white bread, cookies, pasta, cakes and similar products.

Skin problems

When you are under stress, you skin may become dry or prone to acne. Tension resulting from stress, leads to a situation, when your organism takes significant resources from other organs such as skin and hair. Besides, stress increases the level of testosterone which plays its role in acne appearance.
Healthy tips:
If your skin becomes dry, you need to take more vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins group B, vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc. If you have acne you may need more complex measures to return to normal state.

Digestion problems
The secretion of adrenaline slows down your digestion, and it takes more time to process food which leads to constipations. Otherwise, noradrenaline relaxes your digestive tract, leading to diarrhea. That's why you may have such controversial symptoms.

Healthy tips:

Drink yogurt or other product that can help neutralize the harmful effect of stress hormones on your digestive tract.