The Effects Of Stress On Health

January 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Effects Of Stress

Stress can have a number of different effects on your body and your health.   While it isn’t possible to avoid stress completely, it is vital to your health to minimize the stress in your life.  If you don’t, your health could suffer dramatically.

Stress can cause many different minor ailments.  It can cause minor headaches, nausea, minor sleep disturbances, mild depresssion, muscle aches, and other minor issues.  These are usually relatively easy to deal with quickly by simply participating in a stress management course or taking over-the-counter painkillers.

But stress can have many effects that are much more detrimental to your health.  Among the dangerous and even life-threatning issues that can be caused by, or exacerbated by, stress, are:

  • Chronic high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or heart attacks.
  • Severe insomnia.  The lack of sleep can also cause severe health issues.
  • Major depression, which can harm relationships and even lead to suicide.
  • Reduced immune function, potentially leading to very serious illnesses that are hard to get rid of.

These are just a few of the very serious health issues that can be caused by stress.  It truly can be extremely dangerous to your health, so it is critical that you seek treatment for chronic stress before it has a chance to do more damage to your body.

You can see your doctor or a licensed therapist to discuss treatment options.  Just don’t wait, because the effects of stress can build up over time and the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to treat.

Can Stress Cause Migraines?

January 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Effects Of Stress

Migraine headaches are painful, distracting, and very hard to treat.  Because doctors don’t know exactly what causes them, they are difficult to diagnose and treat.  Research may not yet be as thorough as we’d like, but one thing is for certain – stress can absolutely bring on or at least exacerbate migraine headaches.

Emotional stress is a very common trigger or migraine headaches.  In fact, extreme stress can cause headaches even in people who have never had a history of migraines.  Headaches due to stress are especially common in individuals with a known history of migraines.  Migraine sufferers often find that their headaches are stronger and occur more often during the most stressful periods of their lives.

Whenever an individual is under stress, the brain releases various chemicals to help the body respond to the stress.  This “fight or flight” response is meant to help creatures flee from predators and handle other life-threatening situations, but it can’t distinguish between being attacked by a lion and being yelled at by your boss.  When these chemicals are released often and no extreme “fight or flight” situation occurs, a chronic situation can develop.

Chronic stress can cause all kinds of issues, including tension headaches and migraines.  While these headaches can be triggered by a single stressful even, especially in someone who is tired or ill, it is usually caused by a build-up of stress or stress that is experienced on a regular basis.

Treatment for these headaches generally requires treatment of the root issue – the stress.  Stress management, counseling, and sometimes the use of antidepressants and anxiety medications can often help.  Once the root is treated, the symtoms usually disappear or ease up significantly.