Updated: Nov 30, 2018
The following are six ways how stress can harm your health.
(1) Increase in Blood Pressure
In short-term stress, your body will release adrenaline which triggers the rise in blood pressure and a heightened state in preparation for the ‘fight or flight’ response.
(2) Short term stress can Suppress Appetite
During short term stress, the presence of both adrenaline and another hormone released from the brain called corticotrophin-releasing hormone will temporarily suppress your appetite.
(3) Long term stress increases risk of obesity
Long term stress will lead to rise in a hormone known as cortisol which causes cravings for fatty and/or sugary food which may predispose one to overeating, hence increasing the risk of obesity.
High cortisol levels and overeating during long term stress lead to an increase in blood glucose levels which helps to provide more energy to cope with the stressful situation. However, the prolonged rise in blood glucose and the impairment of glucose tolerance can lead to diabetes.
(5) Gastric ulceration
High cortisol levels can also cause gastric ulceration by reducing the formation of natural gastro-protective compounds in your body.
(6) Weakened immune system
Elevated cortisol levels also suppress the formation of white blood cells (cells that defend the body from infections) leading to weakened immune system! This explains why people often fall sick when they are extremely stressed-out.