Does Stress Affect Your Overall Health?

Does stress affect your overall health? It sure does. Here we describe many of the potential links between stress and illness.

Stress-related illness is a major cause of hospital visits.

Medical professionals believe that up to 85% of hospital visits are precipitated or aggravated by stress.

Stress influences illness and illness has the potential to cause more stress.

Here we describe the stress-health cycle and the potential links between stress and disease.


How Does Stress Affect Your Overall Health?

Hypertension (high blood pressure)Stress increases the pressure of the blood against the walls of the arteries. This is discussed in stress and high blood pressure.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)Symptoms may include intestinal gas, constipation, and bloating. Stress has the potential to aggravate these.
HivesCan stress cause hives? Allergies or emotinal stress may result in small, red, hot, itchy spots on the skin.
TMJ syndromeJaw clenching and teeth grinding may be aggravated by stress. What is TMJ is discussed in more detail.
Stress headachesOne cause of stress headaches (or tension headaches) is excess muscle tension in the head and neck region. A common symptom of stress is excess muscle tension
Migraine headachesEmotional stress and dietary factors are some of the causes of these vascular headaches. One solution for migraine headache relief is stress management activities.
Heart diseaseStress and heart disease may result from increased heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol causing arterial blockage.
Immune system conditionsChronic stress weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to fatigue and colds and flu. Stress and the immune system are discussed here.

There has been much research on the link between stress and health. Work done by stress researchers Holmes and Rahe in the 1960s provided evidence of a correlation between stress and illness.

A more up-to-date stress questionnaire builds upon this work by Holmes and Rahe.

This stress questionnaire includes some of the main causes of stress such as work stress, financial stress, and relationship and family stress.

However, what causes stress for one person may be different for another.

This is because stress is in the eye of the beholder.

Search here for other stress management resources

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