How harmful is stress to our health? Does it have the potential to kill?
Some of us thrive on having the adrenaline pumping, but just how harmful is stress to our health? The answer, in short, is very harmful.
Stress is the pressure that we feel in response to strenuous external factors, such as pressure at work, in relationships or financial matters. Too much stress is usually associated with a feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to cope. This can place a significant amount of strain on the body, causing cortisol levels to rise and inflammation around the body to occur.
During times of high stress, the body’s fight-or-flight-response is activated, triggering the sympathetic nervous system to raise both the heart rate and blood pressure. Because the body has to work harder to handle the challenge (real or perceived), it can become fatigued and more susceptible to illness and infection. Prolonged exposure to stress has been linked to numerous serious health conditions, ranging from cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure to diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.
If you are concerned about your level of stress you may wish to speak to your GP about your options for management and treatment.
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