What Physical Signs Can Result From Stress?

When you are stressed out, your body will respond with physical warning signs. Too much stress may trigger headaches, muscle tension, neck or back pain, and sleep problems. When stress is left unchecked, your risk for disease is higher. Chronic stress may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Please be aware how stress that we deal with on a daily basis can be detrimental. Stress can affect your body in some surprising ways:

You are more likely to get sick. Research suggests that people with high-stress levels have a lower immune response when exposed to cold viruses. When you are stressed out, your body’s inflammation levels elevate, thus making is easier for you to develop cold symptoms.
Wounds may take longer to heal. Women under the chronic stress of caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia took nine days longer to heal from a small skin wound. Dental students healed more slowly during exam time than when they were on vacation. And for couples, a half-hour marital dispute slowed the healing of blisters.
You may gain weight. The body releases a hormone called cortisol from your adrenal glands when you are under stress. High levels of cortisol can lead to a thicker waistline.

1. Mayo Clinic. “Stress Management.” http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-management/art-20044289

2. Carnegie Mellon University. “How Stress Influences Disease: Carnegie Mellon Study Reveals Inflammation as the Culprit.” http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2012/april/april2_stressdisease.html

3. Christian, LM; Graham JE; Padgett DA; Glaser, R; Kiecolt-Glaser, JK. “Stress and Wound Healing.” NeuroImmunoModulation 2006.

4. Yale University. “Stress May Cause Excess Abdominal Fat in Otherwise Slender Women, Study Conducted at Yale Shows”