Stress Devastates Health

Ignoring Your Stress Can Devastate Your Health

We all experience stress sometimes, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some stress, like exercise, is beneficial. Likewise, the stress response can work to your advantage in some cases to give you a burst of energy and focus when you're facing a challenge, be it warding off an attacker or completing an assignment with a tight deadline.

Stress turns ugly when it is either extremely severe, such as facing combat or another traumatic scenario, or long-term. It is the latter that poses a risk to many Americans, who live in a chronically elevated state of stress and anxiety. Over time, chronic stress may impair your immune system and cause a number of detrimental events in your body, including:

Decreased nutrient absorption Elevated cholesterol Increased food sensitivity
Decreased oxygenation to your gut Elevated triglycerides Heartburn
As much as four times less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism Decreased gut flora populations Decreased enzymatic output in your gut – as much as 20,000-fold!

Further, when your body remains in a stress-induced 'fight-or-flight' mode for too long, one of the most common consequences of this scenario is that your adrenal glands, faced with excessive stress and burden, become overworked and fatigued. This can lead to a number of related health conditions, including fatigue, autoimmune disorders, skin problems and more. Stress has also been linked to cancer by down-regulating immuno-surveillance, potentially triggering the growth of tumours, and even activating multidrug resistance genes within cancer cells. In fact, stress, and by proxy your emotional health, is a leading factor in virtually any disease or illness you can think of.