It’s nearly impossible to avoid stress in today’s day and age.
Sometimes, stress surprises you when you least expect it, like when you suddenly notice a traffic light has changed. Other times, it’s more frequent because of a steady stream of work deadlines or personal commitments. Stress can even become a chronic problem for numerous reasons, ranging from job loss and family conflict to money worries and abuse.
Regardless of the stress you experience, your body always reacts the same — with a surge of hormones that gets your heart racing, blood pumping, and brain on high alert. This fight-or-flight response can save your life, like ensuring you can slam on the brakes when you notice the light turned red. After that heart-pounding moment, your body gradually returns to normal.
But when stress becomes frequent or chronic, your body’s response leaves your system in a heightened state of arousal, which actually puts your health at risk.
At Scottsdale Private Physicians, LLC, our team sees the impact stress has on the body on a daily basis. To help, we offer stress management services to help identify potential issues and outline strategies to ease your stress and improve your health and wellness. Here are five common stress-related conditions that can benefit.
There’s more to your weight than calories in and calories out. Hormones are at work behind the scenes as well.
Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol change how your body uses calories and nutrients. This can cause people to crave comfort foods notoriously high in sugar, fat, and calories but low in nutrition. On top of that, people are less likely to make nutritious meals when stressed or skip eating entirely.
Plus, stress hormones like cortisol can trigger fat storage in the abdomen — a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “stress belly” — even in people at healthy weights.
If you suffer from persistent pain or headaches, it’s time to look more closely at the amount of stress in your life.
Every time you experience stress, your muscles tense in response. This tension can move throughout your body, especially the “tension triangle” in your shoulders, head, and jaw.
In theory, your muscles should relax when stress fades. However, this muscle tension persists when you live with frequent or chronic stress, leading to ongoing pain symptoms.
Have you been on edge lately? Or maybe feeling depressed and out of sorts?
Stress not only affects your mental health, but it can also reduce your interest in things and activities you used to enjoy. It’s also common for stress to lead to unhealthy coping strategies, like substance use, which can exacerbate stress-related mental health symptoms.
Whether you have stress-related mood changes or a chronic mental health disorder, we can help identify ways to manage your emotions so you can feel your best again.
It’s impossible to function and maintain your health without enough quality sleep. Unfortunately, stress often leads to difficulty falling asleep, more frequent waking, and lighter sleep altogether — all factors that lead to sleep deprivation.
Not getting enough quality sleep is also a stressor and increases cortisol levels. That means you can easily find yourself in a vicious cycle where quality sleep remains out of grasp, no matter how tired you get.
If you’ve been feeling depleted, burned out, or under too much stress, it’s time to make changes for the good of your heart. Having high levels of cortisol in your body increases the most common risk factors for heart disease, including:
Stress also causes systemic changes that promote plaque buildup in your arteries and affect how your blood clots, putting you at risk of heart attack and stroke.
Fortunately, our team can help detect stress-related medical problems and provide strategies to help you manage stress better to improve your overall health. We can recommend several stress management techniques, such as:
We can also offer treatment strategies for stress-related weight loss or chronic disease management.
Don’t let stress put your health at risk. Schedule an assessment with one of our talented experts at Scottsdale Private Physicians, LLC, today.