10 Ways Stress Can Affect Your Health

It isn’t just viruses, infections, and injury that cause health problems. We’ve learned that many more things impact health, from how easy it is to travel to see your doctor to how close stores with healthy food are to you. 

Lifestyle is also a key to maintaining your health — things like moving your body every day, having close connections with family and friends, and getting enough rest.

The respected team at Gain Wellness Center approaches your health using a holistic framework. We believe that your physical and emotional wellbeing are intertwined, and this concept is at the forefront of your care with us. 

Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia and Dr. Jeremy La Motte  see you not as a generic “patient,” but as a complex individual with a distinct health history, lifestyle, and unique set of healthcare needs. 

Stress is highly impactful on your health

It’s indisputable that everyday stress, whether minor or major, affects your immune system, mental health, and overall quality of life. What is stress? It’s anything that causes your body to feel as if it’s under threat. Physical reactions typically include heightened heart rate, tense muscles, quickened breathing, and higher blood pressure. 

Stress isn’t always bad. It can be lifesaving, like when you dart to the curb upon seeing a speeding car approaching. 

We’ve compiled a list of 10 stressors we’ve documented as influencing our patients' health significantly. Stress causes:

  1. Digestive problems: Stress does a job on your digestive system. You might experience uncomfortable constipation, episodes of diarrhea, and persistent nausea.
  2. Tension headaches: Work stress is a common cause of tension headaches, which feature head and neck pain and tightness as well as jaw aches.
  3. Low libido: You might feel low or no desire, or you may have problems with arousal.
  4. Skin problems: Stress makes your skin more reactive; it can cause a rash or hives to emerge, or it can exacerbate a condition you already have, like acne or psoriasis. 
  5. Hormone imbalance: When your level of the stress hormone cortisol shifts drastically, you can suffer everything from weight gain to systemic inflammation.
  6. Sleep disturbances: Stress and worry lead to insomnia and are even linked to sleep apnea; unsurprisingly, fatigue and low energy follow.
  7. Reproductive problems: Remember when we mentioned stress-related low libido? Stress is also associated with smaller sperm and lower motility in men, and it’s also responsible for some trouble conceiving in women.
  8. Mental health issues: Chronic stress is a major factor in the development of anxiety and depression, but even if you aren’t diagnosed with these conditions, you can also experience malaise, a sense of being overwhelmed, and trouble with staying focused.
  9. Heart disease: Stress can cause you to be sedentary, binge on high fat food, and go overboard with unhealthy coping strategies, like alcohol consumption and smoking. Elevated stress hormones don’t help either. These all combine to raise cholesterol, blood pressure, and other factors that raise your risk of a cardiac event.
  10. Musculoskeletal pain: Chronic stress keeps you in the tense “fight-or-flight” mode more than you should be, and your muscles react by getting ready for an assault and tightening up; if your body endures too much of this, pain can erupt in your back, shoulders, and neck. We offer advanced pain treatments for these problems, including regenerative treatments and trigger point injections

This list is just the tip of the iceberg in describing the myriad strains that stress puts on your health

We help you show your stress who’s boss 

Because we subscribe to a functional medicine care model, we seek to find the root cause of your symptoms, and it’s often stress-related. The good news is that we partner with you to manage your stress effectively and eliminate these symptoms and more.  

A comprehensive wellness evaluation allows us to take a detailed look at your health history, your lifestyle, and the health challenges you’re enduring. From there, we create a customized stress management plan that jibes with your lifestyle. After all, the last thing we want is for managing your stress to become stressful!

Lifestyle practices factor heavily into improving the deleterious effects of stress. These include diet and physical exercise, refraining from using tobacco products, looking at your alcohol intake, and other daily self-care practices. We realize that everyone’s stressors and responses are unique to them, and we consider this when we treat you.

We also encourage you to prioritize establishing routines in your life that feed your soul. 

These include enjoying friends and family, practicing calming techniques like yoga and mindfulness practices, and allowing time for body work like massages and chiropractic treatment. 

Don’t wait to get treated for health issues brought on by stress. Call our office at 858-216-2129 to schedule a consultation, or take advantage of our convenient online booking tool

Author
Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP, is the founder of Gain Wellness Center in Poway, California. At the integrated medical practice, one of Dr. Walia's, greatest goals, as a health care provider, is to provide her practice members with alternative, but healthy and safe choices that will enhance their health and well-being. She likes to motivate and educate her practice members to take charge of their health by providing them with evidence-based information so that they can make informed decisions regarding their own personal health and take control of their health. Dr. Walia was born in India and raised in Canada before moving to San Diego. She attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada for her Master of Science degree with specialties in Biology and Physiology. She had various publications in research articles during her time at McMaster University funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. She has three kids and enjoys cooking, hiking and going to the beach with her family.

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