Stress is the way the body reacts to the life experiences we encounter. In today’s world, no one can escape being stressed. Stressful situations can be at work, home and even on the roads. If stress is short term it benefits our health since one will be able to cope with serious situations. The body’s way of stress response is by releasing hormones. These hormones increase the heartbeat and rates of breathing. However, if stress is prolonged it takes a toll on one’s health since it affects various systems in our bodies. The following are the implications of stress.
The central nervous and endocrine systems
The central nervous system is necessary for the facilitation of flight response. The hypothalamus in the brain is the trigger for adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase the heartbeat which increases the blood rush in major organs. This prolonged blood rush is not good for one’s health since it may cause hypertension.
Respiratory and cardio systems
Stress triggers the stress response mechanism like faster breathing. This causes a quick distribution of blood rich in oxygen. For those already having respiratory issues like asthma, it may be difficult for them to breathe. In addition to that, the stress hormones cause constriction of blood vessels which also increases the blood pressure. As a result of chronic stress, your heart is overworked which increases one’s risk of suffering from a stroke.
The liver produces more glucose when the body is stressed. This makes the body not to keep up with the extra glucose production. This increases one chance of developing type two diabetes. The increased breathing and heartbeat may also cause upsets in the digestive system. One may suffer from heartburn due to increased digestive acids production. The way food moves through the digestive tract is also affected making one suffer from nausea and vomiting or even worse diarrhea.
Muscles tense so that they protect themselves when one is stressed and release upon relaxation. When one is stressed continuously, it becomes difficult for the muscles to relax which may cause headaches, shoulder pain and other aches in the body. This may make one stop exercising hence turn to pain medication to offer pain relief.
When one is stressed it may be difficult to get sexual desire. Prolonged stress may cause a drop in the production of testosterone. This declined production of this hormone affects the production of sperms which may cause impotence or erectile dysfunction. For the women, stress affects the menstrual cycles which cause irregular periods. Some get very heavy periods while others do not get any periods. To some menopause symptoms become more pronounced. The effect on the reproductive systems may cause strenuous relationships.
Stimulation of the immune system occurs when one is stressed. This stimulation can help one avoid some infections or heal wounds faster. However, when one is stressed for a long time, their immune system becomes weak making them prone to infections and diseases. Stress may also make one take longer to recover from an injury or illness.