Prolonged stress or stress that is unmanaged can create havoc in your body. Mental stress starts to show on physical levels as certain signs and symptoms which maybe you never guessed were related to stress. Stress may not be the cause of these symptoms but might worsen an underlying condition. So, learn to relax and lead a healthy lifestyle to reduce stress and associated physical ailments.
Hair loss is a key symptom of stress, but it doesn't happen overnight. Hair loss occurs over a period of time, typically when stress doesn't reduce. Stress which is prolonged can cause conditions like alopecia areata where hair loss occurs in patches. It can also cause telogen effluvium which is thinning of hair, slowly leading to complete baldness. Try coping with the ongoing stress by spending quality time with friends and family, physical exercise and meditation.
Muscles and Joint Pains
A stressed individual has a lesser pain threshold as compared to a happy, healthy person. The muscles become stiff due to stress. There can be constant stiffness, tightness, or soreness felt in various muscles and joints all over the body and that's why a stressed person can never feel relaxed. Certain conditions that occur due to stress and affect the muscles and joints are fibromyalgia, arthritis and arthralgia. Regular exercises and stretches can be helpful.
Wondering why your cold is never going away? Stress makes your body feel 'run down' and tired. It weakens the body's immune system. Once you catch a cold the body usually fights it off within a week of its own accord. But, when you are stressed the body's immune system becomes weak and cannot fight off the virus or a secondary bacterial infection.
We use a common phrase, "butterflies in the stomach", when we experience this jittery sensation before a major performance or examination or presentation. This indicates how the intestine is connected to the brain. When a person is anxious or stressed, there is a typical sensation in the abdomen which leaves the person feeling very uncomfortable. Pain, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and reflux tend to get exaggerated due to stress.
Often dental problems like cracked teeth, pain in gums or jaw can be due to a common habit of teeth grinding which happens due to stress. This becomes a habit and you may be doing it unknowingly while asleep too. So, when the jaw hurts in the morning it could because you were grinding your teeth in sleep. Time to let go of that stress!
Stress overpowers self-control. Often people start over eating when stressed. Studies have shown that the brain triggers craving to eat high caloric food during stress, also termed as emotional eating which can result in obesity. Under stress, it is very difficult to pick on healthy food or to limit the quantity of eating, as we look for our comfort foods, which are typically high on sugars or fats.
Routinely, hormonal changes occur in the body due to ongoing stress though most people don't realize this. Stress is one of the major triggering factors that disturbs a woman's menstruation cycle. Stress can be a reason why monthly periods are early or delayed or missed entirely. Young girls also tend to complain of abdominal cramps during their cycles due to stress.
Most of us know that a bad posture leads to muscle strain. However, we are not aware that stress also leads to straining of muscles. When a person is stressed or anxious, the muscles of the neck, jaw and back are tensed, unknowingly. Doctors call it as the "tension triangle". The straining or tightening of muscles leads to pain in these areas. People generally prefer getting a head, neck and back massage to beat stress and feel relaxed.
Any small or big event can lead to stress. No wonder people get a headache on losing car/home keys or missing a train or leaving work incomplete. Stress is the trigger button for headaches. The most common type of headache "tension headache" is caused due to stress. Stress can also increase the risk or the intensity of other headaches like migraine or cluster headache. Since day to day stress cannot be avoided, we need to learn to manage stress well to prevent such headaches.
Many children have observed this phenomenon especially during examinations; the palms become moist because of anxiety. Anxiety too is a kind of stress. Any ordeal like meeting a person for first time, going for a job interview, examination or first day at a new workplace are all common situations leading to a subtle anxiety which can lead to excessive sweating in different parts of body especially forehead and palms.
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