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The Devastating Effects of Stress on Your Body: From Heart Attacks to Dementia


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Stress or stress is a normal psychological and physical response to the demands of life that many experience from time to time, which negatively affects physical and mental health.

While we all know that it is not good to experience stress, we may not be aware of the serious negative effects this condition can have on our overall health.

“Stress causes a range of physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability and even changes in appetite and social isolation,” Chris Newbery, pharmacist at The Independent Pharmacy, told Metro. It can vary greatly from person to person, and some patients may experience it as unpleasant nervous energy, while others may experience it as irritation and anger.”

“However, a common theme reported by many stress patients is a sense of loss of control.”

Large loads on the body can lead to a number of serious consequences and health problems in the long term.


A recent study found evidence that stress can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

In a study conducted by the University of Alabama, more than 24,000 adults were asked how often they feel stressed or unable to cope with everything they have to do.

According to the results, those who reported high levels of stress were found to be 37% more likely to develop dementia later in life.

The study states: “Significant stress is associated with hormonal and inflammatory markers of accelerated aging, as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and mortality. It has also been linked to sleep problems and impaired immune function.”

Acute cardiovascular disease

In a 2017 article published in The Lancet, Harvard researchers found that constant stress can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The study consists of two studies and they suggested that when you are stressed, the amygdala (the area of ​​the brain responsible for stress) sends signals to your bone marrow to produce more white blood cells.

This, in turn, causes inflammation in the arteries, and we know that inflammation is involved in the process that leads to heart attacks, angina, and strokes.

The study also looked at arterial inflammation and amygdala activity in people who had experienced severe stress. Researchers have found a direct link between higher amygdala activity and increased arterial inflammation.

Digestive problems

Digestive disorders affect 35% to 70% of people at some point in their lives. This may be due to many biological factors, but stress can play an important role in such diseases.

According to Harvard Health, our enteric nervous system (which controls our gastrointestinal behavior) is our second brain.

And if there is stress in the body, then its work changes.

The medical establishment stated: “When food is sensed as it enters the intestines, nerve cells lining the digestive system send signals to muscle cells to begin a series of intestinal contractions that move the food further, breaking it down into nutrients and waste. At the same time, the enteric nervous system uses transporter neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which bind and interact with the central nervous system.

Thus, since stress triggers the fight-or-flight response, digestive processes can be hindered.

Harvard Health adds: “When a person is under enough stress to trigger a fight-or-flight response, for example, digestion slows or even stops so that the body can direct all of its internal energy to counter the potential threat. reactions, such as public speaking, can slow down.” The digestive process is temporarily disrupted, causing abdominal pain and other symptoms of functional digestive disorders.

excess weight

Stress can also affect a person’s ability to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. This may be due to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol or unhealthy stress-induced behaviors.

And in 2015, Ohio State University researchers asked women about the stress they had experienced the day before. Then eat foods high in fat and calories.

The researchers found that, on average, women who reported one or more stressors in the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories than those who did not experience stress.

This can result in about 5 kg (11 lbs) of weight gain in a year. Meanwhile, those who claimed to have been stressed had higher insulin levels. This hormone promotes fat storage.


Over the years, many research papers have looked at the relationship between stress and depression. Experts agree that emotional stress may play a role in causing depression or be a symptom of it.

According to Psychology Today, “Stress has a direct effect on mood, and early onset symptoms of low mood can include irritability, sleep disturbances, and cognitive changes such as poor concentration.”

Source: Metro

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