How Does Stress Affect Health Negatively?

Humans developed the ability to deal with stress thousands of years ago in order to survive. When faced with danger, our cavemen ancestors had to react fast and furiously to either fight off predators or run like the wind.

This “fight or flight” response causes the release of a gigantic load of stress hormones that start pumping and pulsing through your veins, causing:

  • Your heart to race
  • Breathing to catch or speed,
  • Your muscles to become hyper tense,
  • The blood flow in your body to increase by 400%,
  • To conserve energy, your digestion comes to a dead stand still.

So how does stress affect health? If you don’t use this burst of energy and strength to physically fight off the enemy or run away, you’re in trouble. The prolonged “wear and tear” on your immune system eventually turns into a state of exhaustion. And that tired and fatigue all the time feeling you end up with is the first symptom of all degenerative disease.

Other early stress consequences include headaches, weight gain or loss, high blood pressure, indigestion, muscle aches, clenched jaw and grinding teeth, skin problems,
insomnia, depression and diminished sex-drive. Long-term stress effects include heart disease, diabetes, stroke and autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.