Prolonged stress can exhaust the body’s natural defences leaving it susceptible to health problems.
What is stress?
Stress is a response to a situation which affects someone’s wellbeing. These situations could be physical, emotional or intellectual demands. It is at these times the body reacts in a ‘fight or flight’ mode by increasing production of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. This changes heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism in order to improve performance.
Stress & Health
Prolonged periods of stress may affect a person’s emotional and physical health. Emotionally they may feel more anxious or depressed and some people may find normal daily tasks become challenging.
Physically the stomach can excrete excess acid leading to indigestion and heartburn, sex hormones diminish and the brain becomes starved of oxygen which impairs mental ability. The body’s immune system can also become weakened as additional pressures are placed on the body’s reserves.
Symptom and Causes
Many of life’s demands and challenges may result in feelings of stress, whether that’s from relationships, work or money for example. Symptoms of stress may include some of the following:
- Difficulty in sleeping, feeling restless or consistently tired.
- Loss of concentration or mental agility.
- Changes in mood, feeling anxious, irritable or resentment.
- Upset stomachs, feeling nauseous or loss of appetite.
- Headaches or dizziness.
- Loss of sexual desire or lowered self esteem.
- Excess sweating or muscle tension.
Stress may lead to a GABA deficiency which affects the brains neurotransmitters by inhibiting them from passing signals between nerves.
GABA is the abbreviation for Gamma Amino Butyric Acid compound, the chemical that plays a role in maintaining a balanced nervous system.