Stress: What It Does to the Body

Dedication Health

Stress is no stranger to any of us, it affects everyone. For example, the global pandemic has caused many people around the world severe stress. Stress regarding health, safety, job security, social isolation, and so much more. There is some stress that is good for your body. Examples of this would include exercising, starting a new job, riding roller coasters, and anything else that brings excitement and fulfillment. The body has an easier time registering this kind of stress.

However, when we are stressed about finances, health, living situations, or things that could negatively affect us, our bodies have a much harder time processing it. Over time, chronic stress can cause a variety of health problems. 

Nervous System Symptoms from Stress

The nervous system takes on a lot when stress comes our way. Our nervous system is responsible for our “fight or flight” responses. It sends signals to every other system declaring that there is danger and what to do about it. As said before, some stress is good. It keeps us safe from dangerous situations. However, our nervous systems need to be able to come back down from “fight or flight” when we are not in dangerous situations.

Having your nervous system constantly on alert lowers the other systems ability to fight infection and cause damage to major nerves in your body. These nerves are responsible for the communication between systems and are vital to maintaining good health. If you experience tingling in your fingers or toes, get numbness in different parts of your body, or have issues where it seems like your body isn’t functioning like it should, it could be a nervous system dysregulation. 

Cardiovascular System Symptoms from Stress

When your body is under stress, the heart is forced to pump faster to prepare the body to either fight or flee from the situation. Once the body starts being affected by chronic stress, it is common to experience symptoms such as heart palpitations and high blood pressure.

Consulting with your medical professional or concierge medical practitioner is important if you begin to experience cardiac symptoms. They have the tools to run tests, prescribe medication, and consult with you regarding your lifestyle that may help reduce risk. Always seek emergency medical attention immediately if you begin to experience symptoms of a heart attack, stoke, or other serious conditions.  

Respiratory System Symptoms from Stress

Stress can wreak havoc on your immune system. You may experience shortness of breath, constriction in your lungs and throat, hyperventilation, anxiety, and other breathing difficulties. A weakened immune system caused by stress can lead to infections such as the flu, colds, or other illnesses. Under stress, you may experience faster breathing as your body tries to deliver more oxygen to your other systems. 

How do we fix it? 

Now that we know what stress does to the body, we can talk about how to fix it. Implementing these strategies can help encourage the body to relax and get out of the fight or flight response. We recommend intentionally scheduling out time where you focus on acts of self-care such as:

  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Hobby that you enjoy
  • Routine medical care
  • Deep breathing/meditation
  • Prioritize Sleep

Dedication Health

At Dedication Health, we take all facets of your life, including stress, into account when creating a treatment plan for you. As a concierge practice, we take the time to listen, treat, and educate our clients on the best treatment for them. 

If you are looking to make a switch to a concierge medical practice near Chicago, contact us today!

For more health and wellness tips, browse the links below:

Staying Active As You Age

Nature for Health: How Spending Time Outdoors Can Impact Health and Happiness

Best Superfoods to Promote Heart Health