Posted on Oct 15th, 2006

In this article we’re going to try to answer the question of how you can tell if you’re under considerable stress.

Actually, recognizing that you’re under stress is very close to diagnosing the effects of stress on your body.

Fortunately, stress identification is pretty easy. Several red flags go up physically that are indications that your body is trying to tell you something.

Stress begins with the effects that it has on you emotionally and mentally. People who are under stress usually show early symptoms of anxiety. At first they may think they are just nervous about something and ignore it as being a one time or occasional thing, but then the anxiety becomes more frequent. They then become very irritable, maybe even short tempered. Gradually this anxiety leads, in many cases, to depression. Eventually the person under stress can’t even cope with everyday activities like going to work. Of course these symptoms can also be signs of other problems which is why a person needs to go to a medical professional for a checkup and tests to determine if they are simply suffering from stress or if there is something more serious going on.

From these beginnings stress then balloons into headaches, sometimes very severe migraines. If they go to a doctor for a regular exam where their blood pressure is taken they may more than likely find that their blood pressure is elevated. Again, there could be other factors here such as a family history of high blood pressure.

If this stress is allowed to continue untreated the next signs are chest pains and trouble breathing. The reason is because stress can eventually lead to heart disease. The reason for this is that stress causes irregular heart rhythms which lead to angina, and possible heart attacks or even stroke. The reason strokes are likely is because of the elevated blood pressure in persons with stress.

Other symptoms of stress are a sudden onset of gastrointestinal problems. The reason for this is because the brain and intestine share a very strong connection. They are both regulated by many of the same hormones in the body. If a normally healthy person has a sudden change in bowel habits there is a very good chance that this is caused by stress.

Also, most people under stress will begin to eat more. This is more psychological than anything else simply because, when we are under stress, or for that matter not happy with something going on in our lives, we will often turn to food because it makes us feel better. A normally skinny person who suddenly puts on a lot of weight is more likely than not eating more because they are under some kind of stress.

Stress will also lead to sexual problems, especially in men. Stress is probably one of the most common causes of non structural impotence in men, meaning men who don’t actually have anything wrong with them.

In our next article we are going to go over what can be done to help alleviate stress from a person’s life and if need be, treat it with medication.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Stress

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