Posted on Apr 16th, 2006

Stress is defined as an importance, significance, or emphasis that produces negative effects on the body and mind. In today’s world, with cell phones, beepers, computers, email, and other techie jargon, the stress of both work and family life has increased tenfold. It is important, even for someone who is not on a weight loss journey, to understand the effects of stress on dieting.

Let us start by understanding what science has to say about stress. According to modern day science, when the mind is pressured under stress, the body’s adrenal glands release stress hormones that speed up the body. During this release, your blood sugar levels and your heart rate increase in order to supply glucose (cool energy molecules) to your muscles in case they will be exerting themselves strenuously.

However, there is a problem with this naturally occurring phenomenon. These stress hormones are made by our body to supply our muscles with a jolt of energy, commonly known as adrenaline, in order to make us react to dangerous situations such as running away from a burglar. The fact is that such situations rarely arise, and the stress hormones begin to work against you. Since most modern day stresses stem from interpersonal conflicts rather than predatory attacks, the energy resources used by the stress hormones do more than just tire you out.

When you are experiencing any form of stress, stress hormones stimulate various parts of the body such as the immune system and the body’s energy reserves. However, as soon as the stressful event passes, these hormones can suppress your immune system in order to recharge the body’s “battery”. It is due to stress’ tendency to suppress the immune system that has led researches to conclude that stress lowers the body’s resistance to disease. Here are some of the common ailments that may result from constant stress:

* Allergies

* Depression

* Fatigue

* Headaches

* Herpes Recurrences

* High blood pressure

* High cholesterol

* General susceptiveness to any disease (weakened immune system)

As seen above, stress contributes greatly to ill health and disease.

To find out how stressed you are, click here to take a free stress test.

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