Stress is becoming common nowadays due to lifestyle, technology, and work. As of 2023, it has been noted that one out of four Americans experience stress. That’s approximately 26% of the population in the United States.
Although stress alone can be bothersome, it’s not the only condition you must worry about. You need to understand that stress can also trigger other health conditions. That’s why you must learn how to manage your stress to avoid acquiring more health conditions.
That said, below, we have listed the most common stress-induced health conditions for you to be aware of the risks stress can do to your health.
The first condition that you expect to encounter when you’re under stress is reflux esophagitis. Reflux esophagitis is caused by acid reflux. Stress, even anxiety, increases the production of stomach acid, which also increases the chance of acid reflux to occur.
A study concluded that the severity of reflux esophagitis depends on the stress you’re experiencing. Fortunately, there are available medications for acid reflux to avoid esophagitis, such as proton pump inhibitors.
A proton pump inhibitor is a medicine used to decrease stomach acid production. However, many individuals don’t want to use this treatment option due to its side effects. Good thing there is already an available proton pump inhibitor with least side effects on the market, giving patients a better option for treating and easing too much acid.
Insomnia is the next condition you must be aware of that you can have if you are stressed. If your stress level is high, it can prolong how long you fall asleep and fragment your sleep. Moreover, a lack of stress triggers your body’s stress response, which further increases your stress hormones, leading to severe insomnia.
If you’re experiencing insomnia, you must consider that you might have high-stress hormones that disrupt your sleep pattern and the quality of your sleep. Additionally, if you’re stressed about something, there is a tendency for you to think about these things before sleeping, thus making it hard to relax and fall asleep.
If you already have insomnia due to stress, you might want to try relaxation techniques to help you calm and manage your stress better. It’s also best to exercise. That said, you can try doing yoga so that you can relax and exercise at the same time.
When you’re under stress, your body will automatically be set to “fight or flight” mode, which triggers the release of various chemicals that can result in physical changes, including the blood vessels. When your blood vessels experience any change, it can cause tension headaches.
You need to understand that when you are stressed, a lot is going on in your brain, and that’s why you will have a headache. The more stress you experience, the more severe your headache will be.
You can apply heat to your neck and shoulders to relieve the pain. It’ll help relieve your tense neck and shoulder muscles. You can use a water bottle with hot water in it or a heating pad to apply heat on the affected area. Having a hot shower can also provide relief from the headache. If these remedies don’t work, you might want to take over-the-counter headache or pain relief medicine.
Stress can cause a lot of changes in your body, chemically, physically, emotionally, psychologically, etc. All of these changes can become too heavy to bear. Because of that, you’ll start feeling fatigued all the time.
If left untreated, fatigue can lead to a lot of serious complications. If you notice that you still feel tired after a good night’s rest, consider talking with your physician to help you out with your stress. If you think that your stress is caused by sleep deprivation, then you can do a lot of things to improve your environment.
Make your room conducive for sleeping by doing these things:
- Reduce the number of stressors in your room. These can be lights, noise, and other factors that cause you to lose sleep.
- Crank your AC up a bit. Lower temperatures have been known to make people drowsy and relaxed. This can help a lot if you’re trying to get some sleep.
- Use essential oils or scented candles. Lavender scented candles work well because lavender contains natural anxiety-relieving chemicals.
Stress can lead to high blood pressure, which could result in a heart attack. When your body experiences a lot of stress, your heart will demand an increased oxygen supply, thus making your heart work harder. If you’re in a stressful situation, try to calm down and do deep-breathing exercises.
It would also help if you eat healthy and exercise regularly. Adding omega-3 rich foods such as tuna, salmon, walnuts, and chia seeds in your diet can greatly help with cardiovascular health. You should also avoid smoking too, as smoking is not only associated with cardiovascular disease, but also with cancer and lots of other harmful diseases.
In general, reducing stress is the best treatment for the conditions you might be experiencing now. Determine what triggers your stress and start cutting it out of your life, whether it’s a person, an event, a memory, or a thing. This will not only help you address other health conditions that are related to stress, but it will also make your life better.