Stress is an unavoidable part of life; no matter who you are, where you come from, or what your life is like, you are guaranteed to feel some amount of stress now and again.
Everyone has different stressors they have to deal with; for many, work can be a major one. Just think: you might hate your job, have a terrible commute, work crazy hours, worry about not making enough money, have a difficult boss, client, or coworker, or be under a lot of pressure to perform. Even if you have your dream job, there will still inevitably be some sort of stress related to it, and unlike some other stressors in our lives, job-related ones are almost impossible to walk away from.
A small to moderate amount of stress is normal – and can even be a good thing – but living with high amounts of stress for long periods of time can have major repercussions. Aside from being unpleasant by definition, high levels of stress can cause a multitude of emotional, mental, and physical health problems.
Below are just a few of the most common types of stress-induced health conditions. If you think you may be at risk of developing – or have already developed – any of them, talk to your doctor about finding ways to better manage your stress and mitigate these conditions. If you can’t see a doctor, or they don’t seem able to help, you can get a little break from your stressors by using a website like bestfakedoctorsnotes.net.
In recent years and especially in this country, obesity has rapidly become a significant problem in its own right. There are many causes for obesity outside of work-related stress, and in truth, obesity is usually caused by multiple factors. Genetics, diet, and exercise are some of the biggest factors, but stress can influence each of them in turn.
High, prolonged amounts of stress can influence the amounts of certain genes and chemicals the body produces, including a hormone called cortisol, which is believed to increase the amount of fat that we store from food.
Stress can also make you crave certain foods – think, feel good, high calorie foods. Ice cream, chocolate, French fries, pizza; foods that always taste delicious and are quick, cheap, and easy to get. Of course, these foods can contribute to obesity, and the problem only gets worse if you’re not exercising.
Obesity and poor diet can contribute to heart disease as well, but stress also has a direct effect. During periods of stress, the heart rate and blood pressure become elevated and the body is flooded with fight-or-flight survival chemicals. This can be fine in short bouts, but over a long period of time it starts to negatively impact the body and cause damage to the heart.
Aside from heart disease, stress can also cause heart attacks, which can strike without warning and are often deadly.
Stress can contribute to the development of diabetes in multiple ways; the habits that contribute to obesity also tend to be causative factors for type 2 diabetes. Eating makes us feel good, and when you’re stressed, it can be an easy and enjoyable way to make yourself feel a little better. You’re more likely to reach for the quick and delicious French fries than the healthier salad.
But stress has also been shown to directly increase the levels of glucose in the blood – thereby raising blood sugar level – in people who already have type 2 diabetes. So not only can it help cause diabetes, stress can also make it much worse.
It seems like a given, but chronic stress has been shown to lead to the development of anxiety disorders. These are real and serious mental health conditions that require treatment – often a combination of therapy, behavioral changes, and sometimes even medications. Untreated anxiety can have devastating effects on mental, physical, and social wellbeing.