The Crippling Effect of Stress on Your Organs

Hooded kid with headache

Stress is much more damaging to your body than you think.
photo by Ambro

We have all heard about how stress can harm us physically. But how many of us know exactly which organs suffer damage and to what extent?

Skin

Some of the most serious skin conditions are caused by stress.  photo by stockimages

Some of the most serious skin conditions are caused by stress.
photo by stockimages

Stress has been linked to major skin problems the likes of which are mentioned below:

  • Acne
  • Blisters
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema and other dermatitis types

Brain

Young man with a headache

Headaches and migraines are the most common symptoms of stress.
photo by stockimages

Stress causes headaches and migraines due to a build-up of tension around the head, neck and shoulder.

Chronic stress stimulates the growth of proteins that might cause Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Heart

Stress increases blood pressure and eventually heart disease. Stress has also the following effects on your body:

  • Alters blood sugar levels and heart functionality.
  • Causes insulin resistance which leads to type 2 diabetes and hardening of arteries.
  • Alters heart rhythms and elevates arrhythmia.
  • Increases risk of heart attack and stroke by releasing inflammatory markers.

Stomach

young man having stomach pain

Stress causes the nutrients in the food to be absorbed insufficiently.
photo by stockimages

Eating while under stress causes the nutrients in the food to be absorbed insufficiently. Moreover chronic stress alters the following natural processes:

  • amount of gastric secretions produced by the stomach,
  • gut motility,
  • mucosal permeability & barrier function,
  • visceral sensitivity and mucosal blood flow.

Chronic stress can also cause gut-related issues like:

  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),
  • peptic ulcer disease,
  • IBD,
  • IBS,
  • and food allergies.

Intestines

Stress can impact our intestine immensely and could lead to:

  • decreased nutrient absorption,
  • decreased oxygenation to the gut,
  • four times less blood flow to our digestive parts,
  • and decreased enzymatic output by as much as 20,000-fold.

Stress can damage delicate tissue in the gut leading to multiple inflammatory diseases like:

  • multiple sclerosis (MS),
  • type 1 diabetes,
  • rheumatoid arthritis,
  • osteoarthritis,
  • lupus,
  • regional enteritis,
  • ulcerative colitis,
  • chronic skin conditions,
  • kidney problems,
  • urinary conditions,
  • allergic and atopic conditions,
  • degenerative conditions,
  • chronic fatigue syndrome,
  • fibromyalgia,
  • and a variety of other inflammatory bowel disease.

Reproductive System

Stress decreases fertility and sexual drive. Stress hormones lower the levels of gonadotropin (GnRH) which is the body’s main sex hormone. At the same time it boosts levels of GnIH that suppresses GnRH even further.

Chronic stress also causes a drop in fertility. Women who have tried to get pregnant during stressful times have had very little success. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. Hethir Rodriguez C.H., C.M.T. explains:

“Believe it or not, our bodies are equipped to prevent conception from occurring during times of extreme stress. The presence of adrenalin, the hormone that is released by our bodies during stressful times, signals to our body that conditions are not ideal for conception. Adrenaline inhibits us from utilizing the hormone progesterone, which is essential for fertility. It also causes the pituitary gland to release higher levels of prolactin, which also causes infertility to occur.”

Immune System

Stress releases corticosteroids that suppress the effectiveness of the immune system by lowering the number of lymphocytes white blood cells which are an integral part of the immune system leaving us more susceptible to infections.

Chronic stress makes the cells of the immune system unable to respond to hormonal control, subsequently leading to high levels of inflammation that promote disease.

There is no way anyone can avoid stress. However we can limit the damage it can cause to our bodies. That’s why next week we will talk about stress management.

Meanwhile click and take the STRESS TEST

7 thoughts on “The Crippling Effect of Stress on Your Organs

  1. Pingback: 3 Steps to Successful Stress Management | The Zeit
  2. Stress, chronic stress especially, is a bomb to the system. So the best way to avoid this is reduce stress, but it is even better, to manage stress to turn it into positive energy.

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