Nowadays it seems like more and more people are finding themselves stressed out. Whether it’s because of the covid-19 pandemic, or something else is going on in your life, the stress you are under could be causing more damage to your health than you realize.
As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression I decided to research and see just what effects the stress I’ve been under, for longer than I can remember, has had on my mind and body. I was more than a little surprised at the toll that stress can have on your physical and mental well being. Below are some of the not-so-common effects of stress that I discovered.
Bizarre and Recurring Dreams
Vivid and bizarre dreams, or experiencing the same recurring dream nightly can be a sign of stress. It is important to examine the reasons behind the dreams. Recurring dreams can take a mental toll, especially if they are upsetting. Having bizarre dreams can make you feel tired and edgy.
Hair Loss and Changes
The average person loses/sheds around 100 hairs per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stress can put your hair into a resting stage, causing those strands of hair to fall out a few months later. Stress can also cause hair to prematurely gray. In rare cases, people can suffer from urges to pull their hair out of their scalp, eyebrows, or other areas of the body.
Stomach Aches and Intestinal Problems
Stress can cause constant stomach aches, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), ulcers and food allergies. The best remedy for an upset stomach or digestive issues is exercise. Exercise boosts endorphines which will make your stomach feel better.
Muscle twitching, especially around the eyes is connected to stress levels. The twitching can last for a few minutes, or it could last a few months.
Skin is sensitive to changes in androgens, especially at higher levels. People tend to touch their faces more often when they’re stressed. Touching your face spreads bacteria.
If you’re getting sick more frequently than usual, or you seem to catch whatever is going around, it could be due to stress. Chronic stress lowers the immune system making you more susceptible to illness.
Irregular Periods and Severe Cramps
Stress can cause periods to completely stop. An imbalance of hormones is unhealthy and could lead to infertility issues. Exercise may help the severe cramping.
Itchy Skin and Rashes
If your skin is properly moisturized and you’re still constantly scratching, or, if a previous skin condition returns more severely, it could be due to stress. According to Women’s Health, when the immune system is lowered we become more susceptible to “rash-causing skin infections caused by staph.”
Bleeding Gums, Jaw and Tooth Pain
Those who experience higher levels of stress are at higher risk for developing periodontal disease. Being overly stressed can lead to grinding your teeth while your sleeping. This will lead to pain in your jaws and/or teeth when you wake up.
Chronic stress can cause abdominal fat. Stress eating is real and can make it extremely difficult to trim down.
Headaches, Tense Muscles, and Back Pain
Stress can trigger headaches and muscle spasms. It is also possible to experience back pain due to the hormones your body pumps out when it is in fight or flight mode.
In addition to these not-so-common health issues there are also more commonly known ones including; heart problems, obesity, diabetes, sleep issues and depression. It is very important to try to find a way to relax. Perhaps meditation, taking a walk in the fresh air, or even locking yourself alone in a room with some headphones and music would help. If your symptoms become worse, or you absolutely cannot find a way to become more relaxed, you may want to contact your doctor to schedule an appointment.