I am sure that we all have heard at some point that “stress is bad”, but just how bad is it? What can it cause? Well, according to many studies it can actually be quite detrimental to to your health since it can cause some very serious problems or make some that already exist way, way worse. If you’d like to get a little more specific though, here are the worst consequences of stress on the human body.
● Heart disease
When it comes to causes of death, heart disease is second only to cancer. For many years scientists have been seeing a correlation between stress and and heart disease. In other words, people who tend to be really stressed because of their work or lifestyle, are afflicted by heart disease way less often than “relaxed” people.
What scientists can’t agree on however, is the reason for that correlation. Some say that stress affects the heart physically and directly, while others claim that it causes harm to it indirectly since stress causes people to smoke and / or overeat. Regardless of the real reason however, the connection is there.
Obesity is again a very dangerous “condition” that is known to cause many serious health issues. Stress can cause it both directly and indirectly. A lot of people will eat more than usual when they are feeling stressed and what’s worse, they will turn to so called “comfort food” such as ice cream and chocolate.
This of course causes them to become fat and obese. Researchers have also discovered that when under stress, the body will produce excess quantities of a hormone called Cortisol and this leads to extra fat being stored in the abdomen. in other words, stress gives you a fat belly.
Stress can’t actually cause diabetes, but it can make it worse. It can eve do so in two different ways. Stress is known to increase the likelihood of behaviors that are quite detrimental to people suffering from diabetes, such as excess drinking and eating. Stress has also been proven to directly raise the glucose levels of people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
I think that the fact that stress is connected to chronic depression and anxiety should surprise no one. Recent studies however have shown that people who experience too much work related stress are a whopping 80% more likely to develop depression that people who don’t experience as much stress.
Asthma can be made much worse by stress. What’s really frightening however is the fact that the mother’s stress can actually cause asthma to her children while they are in the womb. It has been proven that children with stressed out parents are way more likely to develop asthma than kids with more “relaxed” parents.
● Alzheimer’s disease
One recent study done on animals has shown that stress can actually make Alzheimer’s disease appear and develop much sooner and quicker than usual. This is because stress causes the brain lesions that cause the disease to appear more quickly.
● Accelerated aging
Ever heard someone say that age makes you go old faster? Well, as it turns out they were right. A research done on mothers under high stress, they were caring for chronically ill children, showed that they age quicker than mothers who are not under as much stress.
The researchers found that a particular region of the chromosomes of the stressed out mothers was aging a lot faster than that of the stress free mothers. They even calculated that stress mothers were technically 9 to 17 years “older” than the stress free mothers that were of the same ages.
The point of this article is not to fill you with doom and gloom. Nor is it to say that we are all gonna die because of stress. There is a silver lining to all this! Getting rid of stress is actually really easy and it can also be fun. Just find out the stress relief method that works best for you, there are many out there, and kick it out of your life. Don’t become a statistic on a government chart!