Given below are the various effects of Stress on Body - leading to disease.
Stress can be defined as any event that causes physical, mental, emotional or behavioral strain. There are so many types of stress but only four major ones are commonly known, namely eustress, hyperstress, hypostress, and distress.
You will be pleased to know that not all types of stress are harmful. For instance eustress which prepares the heart, mind and muscles before force is exerted is actually good for the body.
How Does Stress Affect Body?
The effects of stress on body and mind are diverse. The long-term effects of stress are very dangerous so the earlier you manage it the better.
Stress stimulates a cascade of over 1,300 responses in the body including secretion of chemicals into the blood, a phenomenon referred to as 'fight or flight' response.
What do you think will happen if your body is subjected to constant stress over a long period of time? Little wonder it is one of the silent killers.
Effects of stress on body and mind are either short term or long term.
The 'fight or flight' response is a normal practice when there is a threat. It results in a myriad of changes in the body and these changes persist until when the threat is removed.
The short term effects include:
Increase in heart rate for faster blood supply, increased rate of respiration, elevated blood pressure, diversion of blood to priority organs from less vital ones and formation of glucose from substances that are non-carbohydrate in nature. Consequently, you will suffer sweating, chest pains, abdominal discomfort, breathlessness, loss of appetite, dry mouth, anxiety, loss of sex drive, memory disturbances, pain in the back and neck, headaches, loss of concentration, depression, upset of peptic ulcers e.t.c.
Prolonged stress transforms itself into pathological problems as the body continues to produce stress factors. These stress factors remain in high concentration in the body causing the same effects.
This is an extra burden to the body because of the side effects. You may experience weight loss, sleeplessness, mood swings, heart attack, stroke, anxiety disorder, chronic headaches, loss of sexual drive, and bowel diseases among other manifestations.
If the stress is removed, some of the foregoing manifestations may disappear but some may persist because their effects may be irreversible unless medical intervention is taken.
For instance, you take your loved on to the best hospital hoping to see them pull through a long illness. Then all over a sudden, you are told that their arm or leg has to be amputated. They might also remain bedridden for life. The best efforts here would seem to have achieved little in the way of results. Unless good stress management measures are taken, the long term effects of stress may lead to other habits like drug abuse.
Some of the effects of pressure on the body can lead to fatalities. Emotional and psychological stress can lead to cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and mental illness.
Therefore the effects of stress on body and mind is serious and you might wish to deal with it early and decisively.