Is Stress Making You Sick?
By Sara Butler
Stress is a part of life, there’s simply no way around it. Small bouts of stress may actually be good for your health and promote a healthier immune system. But it turns out there’s a pretty fine line between just enough stress and too much of it. Prolonged stress is bad for you and your overall health. Plus, chronic stress can suppress your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. But getting sick isn’t the only ways that stress messes with you. Here are a few other ways that chronic stress may be impacting your health.
Your Teeth are Damaged
Tooth damage from stress? Yes! You may not even realize you’re doing it, but stress can cause you to clench your jaw and grind your teeth, both while you’re sleeping and during the day. Teeth grinding can cause fractures of your teeth, cavities and other dental issues. If you notice you’re clenching, talk to your dentist about it and find ways to reduce stress!
You Have High Blood Pressure
Stress is tied to a natural response called “fight or flight.” Your ancestors who lived in caves and hunted their prey developed this response to keep them alive. Stress kicks in your sympathetic nervous system and prepares your body for action – like fleeing a predator. If you are under chronic stress, then your body is in a constant state of fight-or-flight. Because of this, it can cause your blood pressure to elevate and stay that way, which is damaging over the long term.
You’re Tired All the Time
Even if you feel as if you’re sleeping well, if you’re under a lot of stress, then it can cause you to feel tired -- all the time. This is still being studied, but it’s thought that the general tension experienced by those who are in a state of chronic stress can cause the body to feel worn down over time, resulting in feeling tired no matter how much sleep you get the night before!
You Have Headaches
If you’re under a lot of stress, then you may experience tension headaches. Anxiety and worry brought on by stress can cause tension headaches and leave you feeling crummy. If you experience a lot of headaches, talk to a trusted healthcare professional about them!
Stress has a huge impact on your health and wellness, so learn to manage it for better health!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Long Beach, Calif.