Thank you to everyone who submitted a question this week. It has been amazing the response I’ve gotten from everyone following my blog. I am trying my best to answer all of the questions and concerns we have received, but because of the large response, I can only answer so many.

Here are some themes that I notice a lot of people seem to be concerned with:

I’ve had a few people ask questions surrounding a constellation of certain symptoms like chest pains, feeling like your heart is skipping a few beats, and having a hard time sleeping at night. I’ve also had some questions on tingling sensations in addition to shortness of breath and dizziness.

First of all, I want you to know that I am a board certified physician and try to give sound, genuine and practical advice to all of my patients. If you do have symptoms, you should always be examined by a physician that can rule out anything sinister.

If you have been checked by several physicians and been given a clean bill of health, we have to face the the elephant in the room: That elephant is stress. Let me tell you, many small things added together can become overwhelming and create a tidal wave, having a huge impact on your health. The health effects are not easy to measure but at the very least, it will affect how you feel.

Stress is inevitable, and whether we like it or not, your body will eventually come to a point where it surrenders from all the stress around you, especially if you are living a busy life.

How Does the Body Respond to Stress?

The body responds to stress by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. In a tough situation, the brain will send a signal to the adrenal glands. They produce adrenaline and cortisol, which then gives the body the rush of energy and strength that it needs to help you cope with the stressful event. These two hormones help to speed up the respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and body metabolism. This is just a normal body response to an acute event. However, when the stress is there on most days, these hormones push the body too far. This is equivalent to driving your car at the maximum speed all the time, everyday. In time, your car will start to break down. It won’t last as long.

By far the three main causes of stress are:stress

1) Financial Problems

2) Workplace stress

3) Personal relationships

Symptoms:

Stress can be accompanied with many different symptoms, on different aspects, depending on the stimulus or stress

Physical Symptoms

– Headache
– Chest Pain
– Fatigue
– Stomach Upset
– Sleep Problems
– Muscle Pain
– Sweating
– Bowel/Bladder Problems

Mood/Emotional Symptoms
– Irritability
– Anger
– Lack of Focus
– Lack of Motivation
– Depression
– Sadness
– Anxiety
– Crying
– Boredom
– Loneliness
– Easily Upset
– Nervousness
– Restlessness

Behavior Symptoms
– Under-eating/Overeating
– Social Withdrawal
– Smoking
– Alcohol Abuse
– Substance Abuse
– Anger Problems
– Increased Coffee Consumption

Relational Symptoms
– Increased Arguments
– Frequent job changes
– Road rage
– Domestic or Workplace Violence
– Overreactions and conflicts with Co-workers

Effects of stress on health

-Diabetes, stress hormones will increase you blood sugar

-Ulcers-stress will increase gastric acid production

-Heart disease: time and time again, we see people having heart attacks with no identifiable risk factors.

-Lack of sleep

-Premature aging; In a study conducted in 2006 by Douglas Bremnar, he reported that stress causes brain shrinkage by decreasing the factors that help protect the nerve cells, and at the same time increases stress hormones that can damage the nerve cells.

It is important to be aware of the effects of stress on health. In the next post, I’ll show you what you can do to deal with that stress. In the meantime, keep the questions coming in. I’d also like to hear what effect stress has had on your own life. Please comment below.