Stress is usually caused by excessive demands at work and in the family, and by the excessive demands people make on themselves. Occasional stress is normal. However, a permanent overload reduces the quality of life and can even make people ill.
Why stress makes you sick?
The modern, digitalized world does not allow a life without stress. Every day, we are surrounded by a never-ending stream of information and stimuli. This alone can lead to a loss of inner peace. Balance already sensitively disturbed. In addition, there may be constantly increasing demands at work, prere to meet deadlines, and conflicts in the family and at work. If everyday life becomes a burden because the stress persists, body and mind can quickly become affected.
Behind the phenomenon of stress is initially a harmless but vital mechanism that the brain triggers and that arms the body for a threat. Stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, rise in the blood in a very short time. Senses are sharpened. Peak performance is possible. As soon as the situation is over, tension and excitement subside. In this short-lived phase, stress can even be perceived as strengthening. Therefore, this is often referred to as
Eustress, the positive stress, the speech.
With continuous stress, however, the body remains on alert. The result: stress-related hormones in the blood and blood prere remain high and no longer reach a normal level. It is then from the so-called Distress, the negative stress, the speech.
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Sick due to stress: Stress can have these consequences
Those affected often do not recognize the connection between their physical and mental condition and their permanent overload. They attribute gastrointestinal complaints to the fact that they have eaten something bad and explain their slight irritability with the supposed misbehavior of their fellow human beings. A change in thinking only sets in when the stress level leads to strong losses, one has one cold after the other or the listlessness does not let one get up from the bed any more. However, if those affected do not take countermeasures to reduce stress at an early stage, this can serious illnesses as a result have. Diseases caused by stress include:
The increased concentration of stress hormones accelerates the heartbeat and causes blood prere to rise. If the concentration of stress hormones in the body is elevated frequently and for a long time, this can lead, for example, to high blood prere. The increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke suffer.
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The body has a lot of energy available in the form of sugar during stress. It can thus react quickly. The body's own hormone insulin ensures that sugar from the blood reaches the body cells and the blood sugar level drops. However, the stress hormone cortisol impairs the effect of insulin – the transport of sugar in the body is inhibited. The pancreas reacts to the reduced effect of insulin with an increased insulin secretion. This increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Increased liver values
The liver is also sensitive to stress. If the stress hormone cortisol is permanently elevated, more fat is stored in the liver – in the long term, stress can thus cause the Promote the development of a fatty liver. The reason for this is disturbed metabolic processes. A throttling of the fat dismantling. Elevated liver values due to stress can thus indicate this development.
The skin is often called the "mirror of the soul" The pancreas is called "stress" – because it is significantly influenced by the psyche. It is not yet clear whether skin diseases can have psychological causes. However, a skin rash can be triggered and further aggravated by stress. More specifically, it increases inflammation in the body and thus inflammatory Skin diseases such as psoriasis and neurodermatitis.
"A pinch of stress can therefore make us perform at our best, makes us more resilient at first, and also protects us from disease because the immune system ramps up. Ongoing stress, however, constantly confronts our bodies with stress hormones – the so-called "fight or flight mode" can thus make us sick."
Graduate psychologist Bettina Lohr
Trainer, speaker as well as coach, specialized in the field of prevention and stress management
Stomach and intestines react sensitively to permanent stress. Due to the increased cortisol, over time it can lead to Heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, inflammation and even stomach ulcers come.
Burnout or depression
Persistent stress can lead to chronic exhaustion, the so-called burn-out syndrome. The disease is often at the end of a spiral of years of excessive demands and stress. Possible alarm signals are constant fatigue, sleep disturbances, irritability, anxiety and social withdrawal.
– Coping with stress: These strategies are recommended by experts – Anxiety disorder? Strong stress can promote fear disturbances – program stress in the grasp: Free on-line assistance for stressed ones
Chronic stress is a Risk factor for the development of various mental illnesses, such as depressive episodes, anxiety or eating disorders. Depression and anxiety disorders are particularly common. Significantly, the signs are not much different from typical stress symptoms: dejection, inner restlessness, exhaustion and sleep disturbances are among them. Stress can thus be the gateway to depression. To prevent this from happening in the first place, good stress management is essential.
Stress: The most common causes
Stress occurs when an external or internal stimulus is perceived as unpleasant. What is stressful depends on the quality of the stimulus and the individual's evaluation of that stimulus and personal attitudes.
Stress and its causes are therefore highly subjectiveOne person's stress level skyrockets when stuck in a traffic jam for ten minutes, while another person reacts calmly. In addition, internal stimuli, such as worry and anxiety, can trigger emotional and psychological stress in the same way that deadline preres at work do.
Although everyone's perception of stress is different, it is possible to identify stress factors (stressors) that a large proportion of people experience as stressful. These include
– Conflicts at work, in the partnership or the family, – Overload or double burden of family and work, – Deadline prere, – Critical life events, such as separation, job loss, serious illness or the death of a close person, – Little free time and lack of compensation for work, – Difficulty in switching off, – Sensory overload, – Own (performance) demands and – Worries and fears.
National Institute of Mental Health: 5 Things you should know about stress.
Mental Health Foundation: Stress.
Centre for Studies on Human Stress: Acute vs. Chronic Stress.