Scientists are learning more and more about the impact that stress plays on your health. It’s not just your mental health that can be hurt by both acute and chronic stress. Stress can take a major toll on your physical health, as well. Read on for some of the ways stress impacts your body.
Yep, it’s true — elevated stress levels can make you lose your hair, in several different ways. One of the more obvious ways is through trichotillomania, a disorder that causes people to rip their hair out to alleviate stress. But, it’s not just physically pulling out hair that is influenced by stress. Two hair loss issues can both happen as the result of stress. Alopecia areata, where the immune system attacks hair follicles, and telogen effluvium, which causes hair to stop growing and eventually fall out.
- Dental Problems.
Chronic stress can impact your teeth and gums, too. Dry mouth, canker sores, and even gum disease can all result from elevated stress levels. Another major issue is that people who are experiencing major stress are more likely to neglect their oral health. Making sure to keep your stress down will only benefit your teeth and gums in the long-run, and save you plenty of money at the dentist!
Are you that person? Always dripping in sweat, even if you haven’t gotten off the couch in your air-conditioned basement all day? Pit stains when you have a big presentation at work or you’re on a first date? Stress may be the culprit. When you’re nervous or anxious, your body sometimes reacts by producing more sweat, and, in the long term, this can become a pervasive problem.
Headaches are more common when you’re in everyday stressful situations. And, here’s the thing: the way the body reacts to stress can actually make your headache WORSE. Of course, there are sometimes when you just can’t avoid stress, but taking a minute to center yourself through meditation, a walk around the block, or even just a little stretching can help alleviate your headache.
Some people just can’t seem to shed pounds no matter how much they try. And more and more research is showing that this may be linked to chronic stress. The hormone cortisol is released when you’re feeling stressed, and this hormone also messes up your feelings of hunger. The bottom line? If you’re struggling to lose weight, think long and hard about how much stress you experience.
Symptoms of stress are often intertwined with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Stress can make actually ADHD worse for both children and adults. The pitfalls of having ADHD, such as lack of focus and difficulty staying organized, can understandably make stress levels rise. When you struggle to keep your home clean, pay your bills on time, and keep your relationships intact, you’re invariably going to have higher stress levels. That’s why it’s so crucial for people with ADHD to practice stress-reduction techniques and to stay on top of their ADHD symptoms.
- Skin Problems.
Nope, it’s not just an old wives tale: stress can wreak havoc on your skin. Stressed bodies are more sensitive to irritants like bacteria and pollutants on the skin. Stress can also make skin conditions like acne, rosacea and psoriasis worse.
Suffering from asthma is stressful enough, but stress can actually exacerbate asthma symptoms. Indeed, there’s a very clear-cut relationship between asthma and stress. If you have asthma and are feeling panicky and anxious, stress reduction techniques are are a great way to prevent an attack before it happens.