Stress is a normal part of life and itʼs not necessarily a bad thing. Stress can give you motivation for doing your best or getting a task done. However, prolonged or unmanaged stress can affect your body in multiple, negative ways.
To fight disease, you need a strong immune system. Stress weakens your bodyʼs defenses, making you more likely to catch the flu or colds.
Muscles and Joints
One of the most common side effects of stress is inflammation inside the body. Inflammation may cause your joints to swell or muscles to feel stiff, which leads to pain.
Heart and Lungs
Excess amounts of cortisol, the stress hormone, may worsen heart and lung conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma and heart disease.
Stress can eventually lead to symptoms of depression and reduce enthusiasm for everyday activities. Talk with your doctor about what youʼre feeling and how it affects you; therapy or medication may be necessary to treat your stress and related emotional problems.
Hair and Skin
Stress can worsen skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. It may also lead to hair loss, itchiness, hives and even excessive sweating.
If you would like to avoid or reduce stress, eating a healthy diet, getting sufficient rest and getting regular exercise are very important. If your stress has become unmanageable, talk with your doctor about therapy or medication.
Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.
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