The top 10 medical conditions directly related to stress include peptic ulcers, hypertension, heart disease, chronic sinusitis, headaches, migraine, neck pain, anxiety, depression, suicide.
The human body is a complex piece of machinery. Stress is disturbing in more ways than one, as it affects our mental, physical and emotional well-being. Here is our list of the top ten medical conditions that can occur as a direct effect of stress.
Top 10 medical conditions related to stress
- Headaches: When you are stressed, your facial muscles in the upper part of the face like the temples and brows contact and cause furrowing. Headaches which occur regularly for months together could be due to a stressful life.
- Neck and shoulder pain: Stress causes tension in the muscles which result in pain. Most of the times, the silicate muscles in your neck bear the brunt followed by shoulder muscles as they bunch up causing the shoulders to droop and forcing an imperfect posture. This hampers the blood circulation to these areas.
- Anxiety: Stress makes you jumpy, irritated and short tempered. This is called anxiety. Anxiety robs us of the joys of life and makes us cranky and less than pleasant. This anxiety that you portray also rubs off on those around you. Hence it is important to realise that you are stressed and take constructive measures to distress and clear your head.
- Depression: Long term stress and depression go hand in hand. Stress due to any cause, if it goes on for several weeks or months affects your general wellbeing and can cause depressive thoughts. Depression causes you to lose your zest for life and become oblivious to the beauty of things around you.
- Peptic ulcers: Stress can lead to acidity as you do not pay attention to what you eat when stressed. You may unwittingly choose unhealthy comfort food instead of following a balanced and nutritious diet. Skipping meals, eating too much junk food and avoiding fruits and veggies may exacerbate the acidity. Also stress causes the body to release too much acid in the stomach and this erodes the delicate inner lining of it and may contribute to a peptic ulcer.
- Hypertension: Your blood pressure naturally increases when you exercise or when you are stressed. This is the human body’s response to stress and is a conditioned response. Repeated episodes of high blood pressure are detrimental to your health and can lead to stroke, cardiac problems and if untreated may be fatal. In patients suffering from high blood pressure, stressful events are even more dangerous. Physical symptoms like a throbbing head, dizziness and a feeling of fainting may indicate that stress is affecting your health gravely.
- Migraine: Migraine suffers will agree that stress is one of the most common triggers for this condition. When you are stressed, the blood vessels in the brain contract and contribute to the symptoms of migraine.
- Sinusitis: Sinus conditions like chronic sinusitis and sinus headaches are a result of uncontrolled stress. Sinusitis is a notorious medical condition which recurs even after being treated. Stress adds to the problem as the body produces thick mucus which cannot come out of the sinuses easily.
- Insomnia: When you toss and turn at night despite being dead tired, you wake up tired the next day. This is because stressful thoughts at night prevent your brains from going into sleep mode. Insomniacs walk around like zombies, with dark circles under their eyes and an inability to concentrate on tasks. This further takes a toll on your health and hence nip stress in the bud and get your required quota of Zzzz’s.
- Suicide: The most distressing sign of stress is when it compels a person to end his life. Nothing can be worse than a beautiful life wasted as the effects of stress causes a person to think that life is not worth it.
So don’t let stress get the better of you. Ease stress in your day-to-day life by keeping work manageable and setting aside time to unwind with a hobby or sport. Do whatever works for you and stick to it.
Now take a deep breath and relax, that’s better!