We all know that stress is bad for us, do we really know why or how bad it is for us? My husband has an extremely stressful job.  I see first hand how bad stress can get.  I have recently been doing some research, seeing if maybe some of his symptoms are just caused by stress alone.  It turns out stress causes a lot more ailments than I had thought. I’ve always knows that stress is thought to lower the immune system, which causes you to get sick more often.

In my research I found some pretty scary things. Stress is a big contributing factor to heart disease. Stress can directly increase heart rate and blood flow. Which in turn causes the release of Cholesterol and Triglycerides; resulting in high blood pressure and heart problems.

For people with Asthma, a high stress environment is known to worsen it. As well as obesity, a lot of people will make unhealthy food options when stressed out. Due to the high levels of stress, your body will have higher levels of cortisol which makes it very tough for people to lose fat. The most problem areas are the abdomen, legs and hips. Believe it or not stress is also a helper in people with Diabetes, it will make symptoms worse; even increasing glucose levels.

Headaches, all forms can be directly caused from stress. I thought tension headaches were only caused from stress, turns out migraines are as well. I’m sure many people already know that stress can cause Depression and Anxiety. I know this from personal experience. What really surprised me, was finding out that people with stress related jobs; have an 80% higher risk of developing Depression.

Those who suffer from gastrointestinal problems like Ulcers, Heartburn, and IBS will suffer more, if and when stressed out. Stress can not cause these issues, if you already have them stress can cause more frequent attacks and worsening of symptoms.

Lastly recent studies on animals have shown that stress can affect Alzheimer’s, by causing brain lesions to form quicker.

I don’t know about you, knowing all of this tends to freak me out a little bit. I am going to start looking at what causes my stress and doing what I can to lower it. I know that I mostly cause a lot of my own stress. Learning to not sweat the small stuff may be good to learn. In all honesty, I don’t even know where to begin. I think I will be doing a lot of reading in the next little bit. What do you do to lower your stress?

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