How do I know if my illness is due to stress?

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How do I know if my illness is due to stress?

Stress and your health

Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In small episodes, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts a long time, it can harm your health.


Stress is a normal feeling. There are two main types of stress:

  • Acute stress This is short-term stress that disappears quickly. You can feel it when you press the brakes, fight with your partner or ski on a slope. This helps you control dangerous situations. It also happens when you do something new or exciting. All people feel acute stress at some time or another.
  • Chronic stress . This is the stress that lasts for a prolonged period of time. You may have chronic stress if you have money problems, an unhappy marriage or problems at work. Any type of stress that continues for weeks or months is chronic stress. You can get used to chronic stress so much that you do not realize it’s a problem. If you do not find ways to control stress, it could cause health problems.


Your body reacts to stress by releasing hormones. These hormones make your brain more alert, cause your muscles to strain and increase your pulse. In the short term, these reactions are good because they can help you manage the situation that causes stress. This is the way your body protects itself.

When you have chronic stress, your body stays alert even when there is no danger. Over time, this puts you at risk for health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Skin problems, such as acne or eczema
  • Menstrual problems

If you already have a health condition, chronic stress can make it worse.


Stress can cause many types of physical and emotional symptoms. Sometimes you may not realize that these symptoms are caused by stress. Here are some signs that stress may be affecting you:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Bad memory
  • Common aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Lack of energy or concentration
  • Sexual problems
  • Rigid neck or jaw
  • Fatigue
  • Problems sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Upset stomach
  • Use of alcohol or drugs to relax
  • Loss or gain of weight

The stress can reach your body for different reasons. Problems at home, work demands, people who do not tolerate or break up are some of the reasons why you can feel that way.

Sometimes it is impossible not to feel stress, but there are some alternatives, such as exercising, walking or being distracted that can help you to release it. If you do not, stress can cause different damages to your health.

Problems in the skin. If you suffer from a high level of stress, you may start to feel itchy or irritated skin. In addition, this can  cause you to get acne or you start to fall more hair.

Headaches. Another one of the evils that you generate the stress is the headache. When you are stressed, your head tries to think too much and control emotions, causing pain . To avoid it, try to do a daily physical activity that manages to distract you.

Heart problems. The stress on the body generates high blood pressure that can cause various heart problems that could reach cardiac arrest.

Muscle tears. If you are going to do any physical activity, you should stretch and be as relaxed as possible. If you do it stressed, your muscles will be tense and you will be more at risk of suffering some type of injury.

Mental problems. One of the things that can cause you stress are different mental problems. Anxiety, insomnia or panic attacks are diseases in the mind that can be caused by a life full of stress.

Menstrual disorders. Excessive stress can alter your menstrual cycle. This is because the sex hormones and those produced by stress are regulated by the same gland: the hypothalamus.

Myopia. Vision problems may also appear if you try to read or observe things when you are stressed. You go very fast on what you try to read and the eyes get tired and you can start to hurt yourself.

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