10 Negative Effects of Stress on Your Health To Keep in Mind

Stress doesn't just affect you emotionally. Learn about the negative effects of stress on your physical health here.
10 Negative Effects of Stress on Your Health To Keep in Mind

Last update: 17 July, 2022

Are you part of the group of people who are frequently subjected to stress? If so, beware! Although at first you may ignore it, this emotional state has a negative impact on both your physical and mental health. In fact, there are many negative effects of stress that many of us aren’t always aware of.

When the body perceives a threat or is going through a moment that generates pressure, the hypothalamus turns on an alarm system through the nervous system and hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. In a mild form, this process will only influence us at a mental level. However, if not controlled, it becomes a potential cause of muscle pain, digestive issues, and even heart problems.

It’s important that we always have professional help to manage our stress. In fact, there are very effective psychological therapies that can help us to better handle these states. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are numerous harmful effects to which the body is exposed when stress is not curbed.

In fact, C. Nasca E.Davis Bigio, and B McEwen (2017) conducted a study to determine the consequences that this psychological state usually generates in our bodies that aren’t as well-known. In this article, we’re going to share the 10 most common and at the same time dangerous effects of stress. Learn all about them so you can start to manage your stress properly.

1. Tinnitus and stress

Tinnitus is an auditory disorder that occurs near the inner ear due to physiological alterations such as narrowing of the blood vessels.

Although its main cause is constant exposure to loud noises, it has been shown that those who suffer from stress are at a high risk of suffering from a subjective type of tinnitus – that is, a type of tinnitus that produce sounds that no other person can hear.

In fact, studies such as the one carried out at Durkham University show that although there’s no clearly effective medical treatment to reduce its presence, there is a psychological strategy that can help to relieve it significantly: learning to manage stress.

We think you may also enjoy reading this article: Can Stress Affect Your Vision?

2. The effects of stress: Weight gain and obesity

Does obesity reduce life expectancy?
Several studies have demonstrated the link between stress and obesity and weight gain.

Having this type of emotional imbalance significantly increases the risk of gaining weight to suffer from being overweight or obesity.

This is due to the feeling of anxiety that comes with it, which makes the person feel a strong need to eat more calories to satisfy their needs.

In fact, the University of Illinois conducted a study in 2008 which showed this clear relationship, where obesity often has the mark of emotional disorders.

3. Hypertension and stress

High blood pressure is one of the cardiovascular diseases that most affect people around the world. It occurs when there’s a considerable increase in blood pressure inside the arteries, either by the formation of a clot or the narrowing of the blood vessels.

Although there’s no exact cause to explain the origin of this common condition, stress can have a direct influence by increasing the levels of hormones in the blood.

Therefore, it’s very important to treat it in time because, if not, it can deteriorate the heart, blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys.

4. Irregular menstrual periods

By causing alterations at the hormonal level, it’s not a surprise that this emotional state is also a direct cause of irregular menstrual periods.

This can cause women to have a very short menstruation or, on the contrary, can occur in excess and extend several days.

5. Back pain

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Back pain is a fairly widespread phenomenon. This is because heavy work, our non-stop schedules, and the feeling of stress influence its appearance.

Back pain is, after infections, the second most common cause of medical consultations worldwide.

Nowadays, it’s a fairly widespread discomfort, as heavy work, our non-stop schedules, and the feeling of stress influence its appearance. When back pain is due to the latter reason, it’s common for it to also spread to the shoulders and neck .

6. Headaches

The headache we experience from stress can be of a tension type or, in the worse cases, it may even be a migraine. Sometimes it affects us at a general level, but it almost always occurs on one side of the head.

Although it’s a common symptom of many conditions, most of the time, a headache has something to do with stress. High cortisol levels and the resulting muscle tension are triggers for this annoying condition.

7. The effects of stress: Insomnia

Stress produces an imbalance in the nervous system, which in turn can lead to sleep disorders like insomnia.

Sleep disorders, especially insomnia, are usually very common in those who are unable to control their stress.

This is due to the imbalance it produces in the nervous system, which prevents the correct segregation of melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone.

Like this article? You may also like to read: Work Stress Associated with Risk of Heart Attack

8. Acne

As you’ve probably noticed, the skin also suffers the consequences of stress. When cortisol levels rise, it increases the production of body oils and fats, which are involved in the formation of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads.

9. Hair loss

Effects of stress:
Stress can directly weaken the hair follicles or cause people to tug play with and pull out their hair.

Many times, hair loss problems have a direct relationship to frequent tension and stress.

This weakens the hair follicles or can cause anxiety that leads a person to pull their hair out to deal with negative feelings.

10. Stomach ulcers

The digestive system is closely associated with emotional disorders. If stress attacks, stomach acids are produced in excess, and this favors the formation of ulcers, indigestion, and inflammation.

Overall, because of all of the risks involved, it’s essential to learn to control stress. We have many great psychology professionals to guide us in the understanding and good management of these dimensions at our disposal to do so.

Also, the practice of relaxation techniques and breathing, Mindfulness, and yoga can also be very helpful.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Dimsdale, J. E. (2008, April 1). Psychological Stress and Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2007.12.024
  • Nasca, C., Davis, E., Bigio, B., Sandi, C., & McEwen, B. S. (2016). Effects of Stress Throughout the Lifespan on the Brain and Behavior. In Hormones, Brain and Behavior: Third Edition(Vol. 5, pp. 443–463). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803592-4.00111-5
  • Fife, T. D. (2014). Tinnitus. In Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences(pp. 474–476). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-385157-4.00158-5
  • Ozier, A. D., Kendrick, O. W., Leeper, J. D., Knol, L. L., Perko, M., & Burnham, J. (2008). Overweight and Obesity Are Associated with Emotion- and Stress-Related Eating as Measured by the Eating and Appraisal Due to Emotions and Stress Questionnaire. Journal of the American Dietetic Association108(1), 49–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2007.10.011

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.