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Stress And The Body

Stress doesn’t always announce itself.

Though we all know what it’s like to occasionally feel stressed out, ongoing stress can actually store in the body and present itself in an array of symptoms.

An inability to concentrate, recurrent headaches and insomnia can all be signs of stress, but sometimes they are not recognized as stress induced. Letting symptoms repeatedly continue without intervention can lead to other issues, like heart disease, high blood pressure and a host of other health problems.

This infographic from HeartMath provides a summary of how stress can irritate the body:

The Effects of Stress On The Body

Image source: heartmath.com

Many health studies have looked into how stress affects the body, both physically and psychologically.

Though it is known that stress can cause negative reactions from the body and the mind, research from Carnegie Mellon University presented just how chronic psychological stress can alter the body. Ongoing stress can actually cause the body to lose response capabilities that allow it to regulate inflammatory response. An inability to control inflammation can lead to the growth of disease.

Cortisol is a hormone which helps to regulate inflammation. When cortisol is suppressed, it can cause major inflammatory issues. Extended periods of stress can disrupt cortisol’s efficacy to control inflammation, and according to the researchers this happens due to a reduction in tissue sensitivity.

Other studies have discovered that those under stress are even more vulnerable to the common cold. Cold symptoms can increase when the inflammatory response system reacts. Going through a sustained stressful experience was found to be in correlation with the decreased inflammatory response regulation.

The research team stated that this is significant for providing a greater understanding of diseases that can be brought about by stress and can lead to prevention.

Another study on the way stress can influence the body’s systems looks at memories. When a stressful event occurs while learning is also taking place, the stress can actually cause changes in memory formation. It can either increase or even block the creation of memories, depending on the severity and nature of the anxiety.

Research that provides an in depth understanding into how stress can increase the risk of disease and even modify the ability to shape memories can be eye-opening. Stress reduction is a necessary component to any lifestyle, and being aware of stressors and taking preventative measures can help fend off some unwanted issues.

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