Modern life is filled with situations in which things are required from us on a daily basis at work, at home, and in any social situation. This causes variable amount of stress, depending on the amount of pressure under which the person is. Stress is not only mentally and emotionally disabling, but it also can be a cause of organic disorders and it affects all the organ systems. Here is how stress affects particular organ systems in your body:
Stress induces increased production of epinephrine (adrenalin) which is responsible for so called “fight or flight” response. This is mostly reflected on circulatory system as it results in increased heart rate, increased power of heart ventricles contraction, and increased blood pressure. If the stress is constant, these effects cause permanent changes on blood vessels and heart. The process of atherosclerosis is accelerated and the walls of heart chambers start to thicken, which leads to hypertension and cardiomyopathy.
As a result of stress, stomach cells produce more hydrochloric acid than usual, which damages mucosa of the stomach and duodenum and leas to development of gastritis, peptic ulcer, and even stomach or duodenal cancer. This is of course related to long term stress. Not to mention that stress also causes indigestion, bloating, and creates an uncomfortable feeling in the abdomen by disturbing normal dynamics of intestines.
Stress can be a trigger for developing type 1 diabetes during childhood and adolescence, and it can also contribute to developing type 2 diabetes in adults and elderly. During stressful events, higher amount o sugar is processed and mobilized. In order to eliminate this sugar from the blood, the pancreas produces higher amounts of insulin. Chronic over secretion of insulin can exhaust pancreatic cells and cause diabetes mellitus. Other hormone disturbances may also occur, such as overproduction of thyroid hormone and hormones of adrenal gland.
Stress originates from the higher cortical structures and the limbic system of the brain and it spreads through the whole body in different ways. It is well known that many psychiatric disorders, especially from depression and anxiety groups stem from increased amount of stress and inability to deal with it. Neurological disorders are also more common in persons subjected to large amount of stress.
Studies have shown that the interpretation of the situation by a person is more important than the severity of the situation itself. Some people go through life without developing high levels of stress, regardless of bad circumstances. On the other hand, some sensitive persons can become very stressed out even due to some objectively minor problems.
Juice For Stress Relief:
2 big handfuls spinach
3 to 4 stalks broccoli
3 to 4 stalks celery
1 large or 2 small carrots
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Surwit RS, Schneider MS, Feinglos MN. Stress and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care. 1992 Oct;15(10):1413-22.