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What Does Stress Do To Your Body?

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We all know that stress isn’t good for us. But exactly what does it do to our bodies? Here are just some of the negative effects that stress can have on us and why taking the time to chill out and get a good night’s sleep is important.

Your heart

Stress has long been thought to be linked to heart attacks, but only recently proven by studies. When we’re stressed, we overproduce white blood cells to fight infection and repair damage as a short term survival mechanism. Being constantly stressed causing us to produce too many white blood cells, which form plaques in arteries leading to heart disease. The heart is also worn out more due to beating at a constantly fast pace. Taking the time to de-stress can give the heart a break. Limiting foods that are bad for the heart such as processed fats and high sugar drinks can prevent extra pressure being put on the heart.

Your gut

When stressed, the brain focuses attention to important short-term function (such as being able to heal fast or run away quickly) and shuts down functions that aren’t so important in the short term (one being our digestive system). When stressed we can often suffer from diarrhoea or constipation as the gut is no longer working properly. It’s been proposed that repeated stress can cause the likes of IBS. Many products as found at http://www.ibsrelief.com/product/ can help relieve such symptoms, but ideally you want to eliminate stress from your life to restore full working bowel movement.

Your love life

Because reproduction is not a short-term function, stress can often make us lose our drive. For men, the stress hormone cortisol reduces levels of testosterone. For women, stress can have disastrous effects on the ability to conceive including irregular menstrual cycles, the inability to produce milk and in severe cases miscarriages. Testosterone supplements and other medication may be able to return your drive to normal levels, but relaxing may simply be the answer.

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Your muscles

When stressed, your muscles tense up as a protection mechanism as if bracing for a punch. Whilst this can be beneficial in the short-term, constant stress can lead to muscles being constantly tensed up and consequently leading to muscle strains, tiredness and body aches. Massages can be great for releasing these tight muscles, whilst acting as a relaxation therapy to combat stress.

Your skin

The stress hormone cortisol makes skin more reactive and sensitive. It’s for this reason that when we’re stressed we often get spots on our face. Rashes and skin conditions can also develop when we are put under constant pressure. All of this can wear out the skin and cause us to age faster. Various skin products for stress can be found at sites such as http://www.refinery29.com/stress-symptoms-skin-care-products, although they may not have much use if constantly putting yourself into stressful situations.

What do you do to help reduce stress? If you have any ideas please share them in the comments.

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