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5 Ways Stress Impacts Your Physical Health

Stress manifests in our lives in many ways — work deadlines, an argument with our spouse, dropping the ball on picking your child up from practice, financial worries, and more. We’re all spinning so many plates these days, and something’s got to give.

Unfortunately, if our stress becomes chronic and intense, it harms our physical and emotional health. Long ago, the stress response equipped us so we could escape a predator, which allowed us to evolve and survive as a species. However, if stress goes from intermittent to ongoing, we’re at risk for major health crises, including heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke.

At Gain Wellness Center, Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia is dedicated to learning all the ways stress may be affecting your health, and she creates all-encompassing treatment plans that address how stress is causing dysregulation and disease. 

As your partner in care, she places a premium on knowing not just your symptoms, but you as an individual. It is then that she can provide effective treatment and recommend self-care you can adopt at home to improve your health. 

The top ways stress harms your health

When you live with a high level of unrelenting stress, it affects everything from your appetite and energy to your libido and overall mood, but some of the most overarching and significant ways that it hurts your health are:

1. High blood pressure

Your blood pressure is the force at which your circulating blood moves through your arteries. When it’s too high for too long, you’re at risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and more.

The scary thing about hypertension is that it’s a silent, symptomless disease. In fact, almost half of adults are living with high blood pressure — but many aren’t aware they have it.

A normal blood pressure reading is considered less than 120/80. The upper number is systolic blood pressure, or the reading taken when your heart is beating, and the bottom number is the systolic pressure, which is the reading taken between heartbeats.

If you have high blood pressure, there are habits you can adopt to lower it, from improving your diet to adopting a mindfulness practice like meditation. 

2. Different types of pain

You may find yourself plagued by recurrent headaches when you’re living with chronic stress, but it doesn’t stop there. You might suffer with:

It gets harder and harder to “power through” stress-related pain, as it wears you down both physically and emotionally.

3. Digestive problems

There’s definitely a strong link between stress and gut problems, and stress can cause hard-to-live-with symptoms, including diarrhea, heartburn, and stomach cramps. Stress can even cause full-blown digestive conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Something that adds a layer of complexity to stress-related digestive problems is that when we’re stressed, we may do things to exacerbate digestive problems, including eating foods that aren’t healthy and nutritious, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking. 

4. Weakened immune system

Stress doesn’t do any favors for your immune system, which protects your body from invaders and illness. When the stress hormone cortisol is coursing through you too often and for extended periods, it’s damaging. Stress reduces lymphocytes, the types of white blood cells that help fend off infection, as well.

High stress levels are also linked to inflammation, which is associated with autoimmune conditions like lupus, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. 

5. Sexual dysfunction and reproductive problems

Chronic stress disrupts hormones and is linked to low libido and sexual dysfunction in both men and women, as well as to menstrual irregularity and fertility problems. 

When your health has been upended by stress, Dr. Walia-Bhatia may recommend an effective tool to you, getting a complete wellness evaluation. Your cellular health, hormonal balance, nutrition, fitness, and stress are all analyzed closely, so she can create the most targeted treatment plan possible. 

This may involve:

Dr. Walia-Bhatia takes your family health history, your personal health history, and your lifestyle practices into consideration in conjunction with the evaluation, and all this information helps her formulate the best approach for lowering your stress.

Our online shop also offers products that help treat stress, from nutritional and other supplements to food products and equipment that assists you with creating a more toxin-free home, making exercising easier, and more. 

Don’t go on living with elevated stress levels and the threats they pose to your health. We can help.

Call our World Trade Drive office at 858-206-9715 to make an appointment, or book one online.

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