Stress is a part of everyone’s daily life and usually cannot be avoided. Grief, career problems, and financial troubles can all cause you to feel stress. However, when its effects become overwhelming and you have no outlet for relief, it may have many negative impacts on the body. Before you can effectively manage stress, it is important to understand how your major organs and systems react to it and what symptoms you might experience as a result.
1. Skin Rashes and Acne
The condition of your skin can be an indicator of how much stress is affecting you. When your body’s stress levels rise, this may cause inflammation that triggers a variety of skin problems that include hives, acne, and eczema. You may be more prone to stress-related skin problems if you have allergies or experienced skin sensitivity in the past.
If you notice an increase in acne breakouts or hives on your face, hands, or arms, your stress levels may be on the rise. Ease itchy hives with a colloidal oatmeal bath and consult a dermatologist if you develop acne cysts or redness, as these may be difficult to treat with over-the-counter creams.
It can be common for stress to cause headaches; however, when it overloads the mind, this can trigger severe pain known as a migraine. The symptoms of migraine headaches are usually intense and may come on slowly or quite suddenly. While some non-prescription medications are designed to treat this problem, you may need to see a specialist if the pain is persistent or debilitating.
Stress-induced migraines can also affect your digestive system and cause severe nausea and vomiting. While not all migraines are powerful enough to cause this symptom and it is less common than others, you may want to track how often you experience it and what kind of stress you were experiencing at the time so you can inform your doctor.
3. Widespread Muscle Aches
When your body reacts to stress, your muscles tense in a fight-or flight response and remain that way until it passes. However, when you suffer too much stress, your muscles may remain stiff and tense a great deal of the time. This can cause widespread aches in pains that might affect your back, shoulders, and neck.
Stress can collect in certain areas of your body and cause knots or lumps that may cause discomfort and interfere with sleep and daily activities. You may want to visit a physical therapist or licensed masseuse to have them treated.
4. Digestive Upset
If stress has ever kept you up at night with an upset stomach, you may be familiar with this reactive symptom. However, unlike other physical responses, digestive issues may have more than one stress-related cause. The first is likely triggered by inflammation, which can irritate the colon, interrupt regular bowel activity, and result in diarrhea and constipation.
An abundance of stress may also prompt you to eat spicy or fatty comfort foods. This type of binging can also cause an upset stomach and a rise in stomach acids. It is wise to find healthy outlets for stress relief instead, such as exercise or creative therapy like coloring or scrapbooking.
5. Oral Pain
Stress-induced inflammation can appear inside the mouth as well as other areas of the body. Canker sores, blocked taste buds and bumps on the tongue may all result from a buildup of stress in the body. If these issues become chronic, you may want to visit an oral surgeon, such as Dr. George Hatzigiannis, who has the experience to identify and treat mouth pain.
Stress can have a profoundly negative effect on many areas of the body and even cause long-term pain. However, when you learn to deal with stressors effectively, it can boost your health and provide balance to your everyday life.