From being stuck in traffic to chasing after the kids all day, most of us are likely to experience the certain effects of stress. This short-term frustration can ultimately after our life in a long time and eventually cause serious health problems. In fact, more than 75% of Americans claim to experience moderate to high amounts of stress.
Here are seven surprising health impacts due to stress.
Stress Affects the Heart health.
According to the American Heart Association, stress can influence negative behaviors that also affect heart health. More so, many of us tend to reach for a bottle of alcohol in attempts to relax and reduce stress.
A study in 2015 suggests that working long hours and the association of alcohol can reduce the stress that is caused by working conditions. Many of us also smoke as a response to stress or even eat for comfort. All of which are common factors that contribute to poor heart conditions and an increase in blood pressure. Stress is also said to reduce blood flow to the heart, especially in women. Researchers claim that women are three times more prone to stress.
Increases the Risk of Diabetes
Did you know that stress is also said to be associated with the risk of developing diabetes? According to a study in JAMA Psychiatry, women who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are likely to develop diabetes that those without PTSD. The hormone cortisol can increase the amount of glucose in the blood due to significant periods of stress.
For those who already have diabetes, stress can effect proper management of the condition and interfere with blood glucose levels.
Having too much of cortisol in the body can affect the brain’s ability to keep memories and form new ones. During times of significant stress, cortisol can interfere with neurotransmitters, which are essential chemicals to communicate with brain cells.
As pressure is clearly correlated to weight gain, part of that is due to poor eating habits due to stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone may also increase the amount of fat tissue stored in the body and will even double the size of fat cells. Luckily, proper exercise can help reduce stress and keep your belly fat in control.
Stress can also cause hyperarousal. This is a biological state where people don’t feel a single inch of exhaustion. While stressful events can pass, insomnia that is due to stress can lead to long-term exposure to chronic stress and also disrupt your quality of sleep.
What should you do? Focus on following proper sleep hygiene. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep every night and any a stress-busting activity during the day. Just be sure to avoid vigorous exercises before bedtime.
Nearly one in eight couples in the United States is struggling to get pregnant. Researchers claim that stress may be one important factor. During a study in the journal Fertility and Sterility, stress found in men can lead to reduced sperm count and semen quality. It is claimed that stress could trigger the release of glucocorticoids that affect the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Ultimately, this lowers the levels of testosterone and sperm production in the body.
Women are also at risk from the harmful effects stress plays on fertility. According to a study from Ohio State University, women with high levels of alpha-amylase, a stress-related enzyme are almost 30% less likely to become pregnant, when compared to women with low levels of alpha-amylase. What’s more is that these women are also more liable to become infertile.
While stress can often be inevitable, there are ways to limit stress. Experts recommend practicing deep breathing exercise, meditation, and physical exercise to help minimize stress.
What do you do to reduce stress? Comment below and tell us what you think!