Guide To The Symptoms Of Stress

Stress is a feeling that most individuals will frequently experience throughout their lives. It is a natural response by the body and can be quite beneficial. Stress can help individuals avoid threats or motivate them to do things that will improve their lives. However, stress can also negatively impact all aspects of a person's life. It can affect their work, academic performance, and relationships with others. It can set off a cascade of physiological events in the body that can lead to infections, illness, and, in some cases, death. 

Many individuals want to achieve stress relief. This is why natural stress management is essential. Useful home remedies for stress include meditation, exercise, and aromatherapy. However, some individuals may also try anti-stress medication. Some patients may find success with natural supplements for anxiety and stress, though others may need prescription stress pills. Of course, individuals need to understand the symptoms of stress first.

Frequent Illness 

Dreamstime

Stress can lead to both bacterial and viral infections. The reason is that it can impair the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to external threats. When the human body recognizes an infectious threat, it produces antibodies that neutralize it. Stress can interfere with the body's ability to create these antibodies. This also means that vaccines for certain types of viruses and bacteria may be less effective. Stress can also cause some viruses that may be otherwise dormant in the body, such as the herpes simplex virus, to reactivate and cause symptoms to reoccur. This is because the immune system is no longer able to keep these viruses under control. 

Certain stress hormones, such as cortisol and corticosterone, may become imbalanced during stressful times. Normally these hormones protect the body. However, when these hormones remain at high levels over long periods, the body can become used to this and stop responding. This can open the door for inflammation and frequent illness in the form of infections, health disorders, and the development of chronic conditions. 

Continue reading to reveal the symptoms of stress now.

Nausea 

Dreamstime

It is common for individuals to feel nauseous both during and after stressful events. This is because there are many connections between the gut and the central nervous system. The endocannabinoid system is a network of neurotransmitters that regulates the sensitivity and feelings within the stomach, intestines, and abdomen. This system significantly influences the management and control of nausea. One way it does this is by regulating ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger and regulates mood. 

Ghrelin increases during times of stress. Researchers believe that this may be a way of coping with stress by regulating anxiety. As ghrelin influences appetite and the stomach, nausea can sometimes occur as a side effect. Stressful events can also cause a type of recurring sickness that returns, even when the event is no longer happening. This condition, known as anticipatory nausea, may occur when an individual remembers or thinks about an event that had previously caused nausea or vomiting. 

Discover more symptoms of stress now.

Dizziness 

Dreamstime

Stress often triggers dizziness. This is evidenced in many conditions in which it is a common symptom. For example, dizziness and vertigo are both common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Vestibular migraine, a condition that typically causes sufferers to feel dizzy, is also known to be triggered by stress. One explanation for this is that stress can cause anxiety, which can lead to shallow breathing. The result of this a decrease in the amount of oxygen available in the blood. The lack of oxygen received by the brain can then lead to lightheadedness. 

There is evidence that some individuals tend to hyperventilate once they become aware of this symptom. It can worsen to the point where they begin to feel dizzy. It is also important to note that three different types of stress can cause individuals to feel dizzy: mental, physical, and emotional stress. Of these three types, various studies have associated mental and emotional stress more strongly with dizziness. 

Get more information on the warning signs of stress now.

Irritability 

Dreamstime

One of the more apparent signs of stress is irritability. This form of agitation often precedes other symptoms, such as anger, mood swings, fatigue, and depression. The link between stress and irritability has been well documented, and researchers have identified different ways that stress can bring about these feelings. First, stress causes inflammation within the body that involves the release of cytokines. These are molecules that the immune system produces. Cytokines regulate inflammation, though they can also affect mood when they disrupt the natural circuitry between the brain and the nervous system. 

In addition, stress leads to a sharp rise in cortisol and other hormones. An imbalance of these hormones within the body has been found to correlate with irritability. Irritability can cause a decrease in an individual's quality of life and can damage their working and personal relationships with others. Some studies have found links between increased irritability and more severe symptoms in patients suffering from various health conditions, such as heart failure. 

Learn more about the symptoms linked to stress now.

Anxiety And Depression 

Dreamstime

In cases involving both short-term and chronic stress, anxiety and depression are quite common symptoms. Oxidative stress is a condition where the body's ability to protect and repair itself is affected by an imbalance between antioxidants and molecules known as free radicals. New research suggests that psychological stress can lead to oxidative stress in the brain, which can trigger anxiety and depression. Brain tissue is quite susceptible to oxidative stress. 

This sequence of events, which starts with psychological stress, can be explained by the fact that high cortisol contributes to oxidative stress. However, its effect on oxidative stress is not the only way that this hormone can lead to anxiousness and feeling down. Serotonin, the hormone most commonly linked with happiness, tends to decrease in the brain when cortisol levels are significantly increased. Low levels of serotonin are often blamed as the main contributing factor in both anxiety and depression.

HealthPrep Staff