Chronic stress can bring serious medical conditions over time. If you already have an existing health problem, adding stress to your lifestyle can only worsen it. Here are some of the medical problems brought by chronic stress:
● Weak immune system. When you’re stressed, you’ll notice that you get sick more often. This is because stress affects your immune system and makes it weak.
● Heart-related illnesses. Problems like arrhythmia, atherosclerosis (i.e. hardening of the arteries), blood clots, coronary artery disease, hardening of the arteries, heart attack, and high blood pressure can be linked to chronic stress.
● Rheumatoid arthritis. Stress may cause pre-existing muscle, bone, or joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis to get worse.
● Stomach disorders. Having stomach problems like peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or irritable bowel syndrome can worsen with stress.
● Reproductive problems. Stress can trigger many reproductive problems like low fertility, painful menstrual periods, and erection problems.
● Lung diseases. If you already have asthma or other pulmonary diseases, stress can aggravate your problem, and cause more difficulty in breathing.
● Skin problems. Stress can cause skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.
Not only does stress affect your physiological functions, it also affects mental focus and decision-making abilities. When you’re stressed out, you feel cranky, jumpy, frustrated, and just plain negative. You lose your temper and worry about things more often than the usual. Some people even get violent when “pushed to the edge” of anxiety.
If you’ve been experiencing any of the above, perhaps it’s time you be conscious of your stress levels. The “high” or “low” levels are different per person, and are dictated by what work conditions you’re used to, your general health condition, and up to how much you can take.