going deeper

Health Minute: Stress and Its Health Impacts

By: Claude

April is National Stress Awareness Month. While everyone experiences stress from time to time, it’s important to know when too much stress is negatively affecting your health and what you can do to combat it.

What are some signs that stress may be affecting your health?

Stress can affect all parts of your life. Because people handle stress differently, the symptoms can vary. Some symptoms can be confused with other health problems, so it’s important to discuss what you’re feeling with your doctor to rule out other potential health conditions.

Physical signs of stress can include:

· Insomnia

· Intense headaches

· High blood pressure

· Increased depression or anxiety

· Heartburn

Along with physical symptoms, there are emotional symptoms to be on the lookout for as well. This can include increased agitation, feeling overwhelmed or having a hard time relaxing.


What happens when stress is ongoing and not addressed?

A little stress occasionally is completely normal. However, when your stress is ongoing and goes on unaddressed, it can lead to serious health problems. This can include:

· Depression and anxiety

· Cardiovascular disease

· Obesity or other eating disorders

· Skin and hair problems (acne, psoriasis, eczema, hair loss)

· Gastrointestinal problems


Do you have any tips to help people manage their stress?

Everyone is going to experience stress at some point. What’s important is how you handle the stress. Be sure you’re taking care of yourself by:

· Eating well balanced meals and not skipping meals.

· Getting enough exercise. Even short walks can help.

· Getting enough sleep. Aim for 8 hours a night.

Talking about what you’re experiencing can help. Try to maintain a support network of people who you can talk to and can help you cope in a positive way. Be sure to talk with your doctor about how you feel. They may recommend additional support from a licensed psychologist to help you identify stressors and improve your mental well-being.

HealthMinute 042022 web