Stress is one of those natural occurrences that come with life in recent times. Stress is so common and part of everyday life that a study noted that about 80% of Americans were stressed. While stress is common and majorly unavoidable, it is important to be able to note that when the body is overwhelmed and take one or two steps backwards to de-stress.
Several activities can lead to stress, and these activities are part of everyday life for most people. Getting the kids ready every day, for example, can be a major source of stress and anxiety for some people. It is thus important to note signs and symptoms which the body will give when it is stressed, and a few of them are highlighted below.
A weakened immune system
The immune system is one of the major systems that give off signals of stress. This may be linked to the fact that the stress hormone which is cortisol is known to weaken the immune system.
When a person is stressed, they come down with bouts of cold and other common infections readily. A person that is stressed can pick up the flu much more easily than a person that is in an optimal state of health and mind. Increased occurrence of urinary tract infections has also been associated with stress.
A lot of other diseases and infections have been linked to stress. Research has shown that stress can contribute to different forms of diseases including metabolic diseases.
Constant headaches and fatigue
When a person is stressed, they get headaches more often than when they are in a healthy mental, emotional and physical state. People tend to get more headaches that do not seem to go away in recent times, and this has been associated with higher levels of stress.
Fatigue is also commonly associated with stress. Because of the associated fatigue, persons that are stressed tend to be less productive in the different areas of their life and typically find everyday activities to be overwhelming.
Lowered libido and irregular periods
The brain picks up signals of stress very easily and acts on them as it deems fit. Since the hypothalamus is the coordinating center of most essential endocrine functions, as it picks up signals of stress, it acts on them. These actions are reflected as changes such as lowered sex drive and irregular periods.
Thus, the sex lives of people that are stressed tend to suffer. A significant proportion of men cannot achieve sufficient erection when they are stressed. Women also experience irregular periods because of the biochemical changes associated with stress.
Sleep problems are generally associated with stress, and that is why changes in sleep patterns are important in the diagnosis of depression. The sleeping problems associated with stress are also due to the emotions and fatigue associated with stress as well as the biochemical changes the body undergoes.
Signs and symptoms associated with stress are a great way to tell when one is stressed. Long-term stress affects a person’s health significantly, and it is important to identify stress as it comes and manage it properly.
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