Effects of Stress on The Body and How It Makes You Sick
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effects of stress on the body

How Stress Can Make You Sick

Stress is sometimes considered to be the root of all ailments. When we are stressing out our bodies can’t put as much energy into keeping us healthy. Effects of stress can cause cold sores, flu, and indigestion. Here are some ways stress can make you sick, and how to become healthy by reducing your stress levels.

Headaches and Migraines

When you are stressing out, your brain will go through hormonal, neurochemical events that stimulate your nerves and cause your blood vessels to swell. This creates pressure in the brain and causes headaches. To reduce the number of headaches and migraines you experience, try relaxation and stress-management techniques. Doing this has been proven to reduce the number of headaches you have up to 50%.


Stress weakens the immune system, therefore making it easier for you to get sick. A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University surveyed volunteers about what was happening in their lives, and then exposed them to a cold virus. Those coping with high-stress levels were twice as likely to become sick than those with lower levels of stress, or no feelings of stress at all.

Stomach Aches

Anxiety and stress can cause your body to produce more digestive acid, which leads to heartburn. Stress can also slow the digestion of food in the stomach, causing gas and bloating, and can affect the muscles in your colon resulting in cramps and diarrhea. The next time you start to become stressed or anxious about a big presentation at work or while you are rushing to meet deadlines, take a 5-minute break to relax and collect yourself.


Ever notice that your skin breaks out before an important event that you’ve been worked up about – such as your sister’s wedding or your Christmas dinner party? Stress affects the levels of the hormone androgen in the body which triggers your glands to speed up oil production in the skin. this causes clogging which leads to breakouts. When you’re stressed out your nerve endings can also act up leading to skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and even cold sores. To prevent breakouts, drink lots of water and spend at least an hour a day doing something stress-free and relaxing.

Insomnia –

Stress is the biggest cause of sleep deprivation. When you are lying in bed and your mind is still thinking about all of the problems you have to deal with in the morning, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep leads to other problems including a weakened immune system and other stress problems and it becomes a vicious circle. If you are having difficulty winding down before bed, try taking a soothing bubble bath to calm down.

Back Pain

Research shows that chronic back pain is usually caused by stress. Stress triggers the nervous system to reduce blood flow to the muscles making them have more spasms. When people hunch over and tense their shoulder and neck due to stress and anxiety it makes things worse and can lead to back problems.


Stress will impact every part of the body – especially the reproductive system. A woman is less likely to become pregnant if she is having a hard time dealing with stress. Learning how to cope with stress can reduce your distress and boost your chances of conceiving.


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