Stress and the body Part 2

In the previous part we looked at how stress causes headaches and affects our reproductive system. It must be pointed out, though, that stress affects our bodies in more ways. So, here we continue with identifying what is happening in our bodies when we are feeling stressed.

Do you get stressed with sitting in traffic, deadlines at work, other people's decisions at work that affect you, incompetence of your employees? Each such episode causes blood to be pumped faster in expectation of intensive physical activity. This affects the condition of your blood vessels as have to deal with more intense flow of the blood through them. Over time it may lead to inflammations in the cardiovascular system and may lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Another consequence of stress is weight loss or gain. Have you asked yourself why it is that some people gain weight under stress while some people lose weight? Stress can affect digestion and it may have different results for different people. On the one hand, stress may result in decreased ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Very intense stress may prevent the feeling of hunger or even cause vomiting. You completely lose appetite and as a result, you lose weight. This usually happens when the stress we experience is continuous for a long period of time. On the other hand, stress hormone cortisol causes more of the feeling of hunger to replenish the energy resources that you were supposed to use while running for your life. But since we spend most of our days sitting at our desks, rather than hunting, the result is we gradually put on more pounds. This is more common when you experience frequent intermittent stress episodes.

The digestive system is also affected due to the stomach action and secretion of stomach acid in response to stress. Stomachaches and ulcers are not unknown to people who suffer from stress for extended periods of time. These are just a few examples of a very complex process that happens in our bodies in response to stress. Stress may adversely affect your immune system, skeletal system and even your muscular system.

Obviously, I would like to tell you to stop stressing and to start relaxing but I know that it is easier said than done. Naturally, we will need to continue to answer the question: So what can we do?

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