I try to avoid stress - it makes me feel like I'm rubber-stamping all my organs "Urgent."
~ Berri Clove
~ Berri Clove
Absolutely! The entire phenomenon of stress, or rather, the way we react to stressful situations, puts enormous pressure on every biological organ without discrimination, not to mention the distress it causes to the mind!
Right from the nervous system and the vital organs to the integumentary system on the outside, stress leaves its mark all over those who become WILLING VICTIMS of it. The psychological, physical effects that we experience on facing stressful situations is nothing but our response to such a situation, which is but an external stimulus.
While we may not be able to have complete control over all sorts of external stimuli, how we respond to them is always in our hands. Remember when Peter Parker said "We always have a choice" toSandman in Spiderman 3? Well, he didn't exaggerate one bit!, let's move on and take a look at some common diseases caused by stress.
What Are the Diseases Caused by Stress?
With so much talk about stress related diseases inundating newspapers, magazines, the television and the Internet, it would come as no surprise that most of us are fairly aware of the long-term bearings of stress on the body and the mind.
While the negative effects of stress are borne by almost all organs and physiological processes of the body, the organs and biological systems that get hit the hardest are the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and the endocrine system.
All these three systems are very closely related and anything that affects one of these invariably goes on to affect the other two. Here are some common diseases and disorders that affects these three systems as a result of biological burnout owing to inappropriate response to stressful stimuli.
Common Cardiovascular Diseases Caused by Stress
- High Blood Pressure
- Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
- High Blood Cholesterol
- Ventricular Aneurysm
- Cardiac Dysrhythmia
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Poor Blood Circulation
Common Neuro Psychological Disorders Caused by Stress
- Altered Temperamental States
- Cerebral Stroke
- Insomnia (and various other sleep disorders)
- Headaches (can be neural as well as vascular such as migraine)
- Eating Disorders
- Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse (especially pertaining to psychoactive drugs, antidepressants and tranquilizers)
Common Endocrine System Disorders Caused by Stress
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Hormonal Headaches
- Frequent and Unhealthy Mood Swings
- Metabolic Illnesses owing to hormonal imbalances (such as Diabetes)
- Thyroid Abnormalities
- Sexual Dysfunction (and possible infertility)
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles and Ovarian Cysts (in females)
- Impotence and Erectile Dysfunction (in males)
- Acne and Pimples
Other Stress-induced Diseases
- Skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, rashes, etc.
- Various types of cancers and tumors
- Chronic Fatigue
- Neuromuscular Tension
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Gastrointestinal Disorders (acidity, indigestion, etc.)
- Obesity (owing to binge eating and sluggish metabolism)
- Peptic Ulcer
- Allergies and similar outbreaks
- Viral and Bacterial Infections (colds, flu, etc.)
- Respiratory Diseases
- Muscular Cramps
- Repetitive Stress Syndrome
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (in extremely severe cases)
Most of the diseases that are brought on by stress are nothing but dysfunctions of the immune and metabolic systems which lead to disorders and illnesses of various other physiological systems and organs.
A lot of infections and pathogens get an opportunity to invade a stressed out body as the immune defenses are low when a person is under a lot of stress. You see, stress often leads to unhealthy habits such as skipping meals, eating junk food, staying up late, etc., which wreak havoc on the normal metabolic rhythm.
This, in turn, weakens the immune system because the body neither gets the right amount of nutrition nor sufficient rest to be able to repair damaged tissues and replace worn out cells at a healthy pace. All this leaves the doors open for a large number of diseases and infections to nest inside the body and weaken it further.