If you are worried about some things in your life, it’s time to stop. You are only making it worse, especially if it’s your health you’re anxious about. Stress can take its toll on your body. What’s even more frightening is that several studies are confirming just how dangerous stress can be to your life. Chronic stress can elevate cortisol levels and can cause inflammation. As these negativities continue to happen, the body experiences undesirable effects starting from the cells to the major body systems.
Death of Cells
Stress can cause cell death. If you are chronically stressed, you have very short telomeres, which continue to shorten every time your cells divide. When the telomeres run out, the cells eventually die, which can cause illnesses that are often related to your age.
Painful Gastrointestinal Problems
Your digestive system and the brain are always “talking” to each other. When you are stressed, you shouldn’t be surprised if you suddenly experience gastrointestinal issues. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you could be one of those with high levels of cortisol and hormones that stimulate it. IBS can also lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders related to stress.
Same as with gastrointestinal problems, high cortisol levels can affect your metabolism. It is one of the factors that affect the growth of fat around your midsection. Fatty stomach can increase your risk for diabetes, which is an illness that affect how the brain responses to stress.
Most people associate stress with cardiovascular diseases and they are correct. Chronic stress as well as disorders that come from stress increases your chances of acquiring heart disease. This is a fact that even experts cannot pinpoint the reason why. However, according to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular health is indirectly influenced by the stress you experience. This is why when you are stressed, your blood pressure rises and you tend to turn to unhealthy behaviors, such as binge drinking, smoking, and overeating.
Believe it or not, stress can affect how the body fights bacteria and viruses that cause you to get sick. Even if you take vaccines, they become less effective when you are under stress. The same thing happens when you have wounds, which don’t heal at the normal rate when you are having a lot of problems. Based on the findings of medical experts, those who have healthy bodies use cortisol to suppress inflammation and prevent infection. However, to those who are chronically stressed, cortisol becomes the enemy as it can cause the immune system to ignore the stress hormone.
While it doesn’t mean you should take everything lightly, being under stress for almost all the time can kill you. Know how to respond to stress, so you not only lengthen your life, but also enjoy it.