Stress and its associated health problems

Stress is associated with several health challenges or problems which if not taken seriously or attended to early can lead to untimely death or a low quality of life. Some of these health problems include but not limited to:

  • asthma,
  • gastrointestinal problems,
  • depression,
  • diabetes,
  • accelerated aging, and
  • heart disease.
  1. Asthma: Stress has been found to worsen the conditions of people who are susceptible to asthmatic attacks. Stress acts as a trigger to series of asthmatic attacks in people who are susceptible to asthma and can even lead to increase in the propensity of giving birth to children who are likely to experiences asthmatic attack especially in cases of chronic asthma.
  2. Gastrointestinal problems: Stress when it occurs affects almost all parts of the body which directly or indirectly affects the process of digestion in the body which lead to loss of appetite, cramping, inflammation and bloating. The pressure associated with stress affects the digestive systems from the oesophagus to the rectum which affects the process of swallowing of the food, the ability of the body to release necessary enzymes required for the breaking down of the food and the process in which the food is segregated as nutrients needed by the body of waste which are products that need to be expelled from the body to maintain good health. This is as a result of the process by which the body which is faced with stress try to return to normal by the release of cortisol which is the stress hormone responsible for fight-or-flight response in the body which leads to increase in breathing, increase in the rate of heart beat, increase in blood pressure, increase state of awareness and elevation of blood cholesterol and tension in the muscles.
  3. Depression: The inability to effectively cope which life’s situations can lead to depression in which stress is one of the major factors. Depression can result if stress is not handled properly by an individual especially when stress is as a result of negative situations which task the individual psychological capability such the death of a loved one, financial challenges, divorce and poor health conditions especially when faced with terminal disease.
  4. Diabetes: People who are faced with a stressful situation result to unhealthy eating and drinking habit to divert attention from the stressful condition which resulted in cases of increase cholesterol level which give rise to type II diabetes. This is also worsened by the tendency of the people in most cases to start leading a sedentary lifestyle.
  5. Accelerated aging: Stress seems to make people look older than they normally are. This is as a result of the continuously general increase in the rate of tension in the muscles.
  6. Heart diseases: Stress increases blood pressure thereby overburdening the rate at which the heart pumps blood and its consequent health problems. Heart attack is known to have been linked to sudden emotional stress which the heart is not ready to handle.
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