Effects of Stress on Health

Experts agree that the effects of stress on health are profound. Stress is known to affect almost all body systems.

It is estimated that 70 - 90% of today's illnesses are stress related.

The "fight or flight" response of the alarm stage is supposed to be short term. When this response becomes prolonged and chronic, health problems arise.

It can result in cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems, skin conditions, immune system disorders, neuromuscular disorders, respiratory ailments, and many others.

The reason why the effects of stress on health are so marked is that long term exposure to the physiological stress response has a destructive effect on the physical system of your body.

While we cannot avoid stress, if the impact of a stressor is not minimized or resolved, the effect on the body is exhaustion and break down of various body systems.

This breakdown may occur quickly or slowly - over many years.

The effects of unresolved stress can build up until the body systems begin to break down and a variety of psychosomatic disorders begin to occur.

Whereas our ancestors were faced with acute, in the moment stress, in our civilized society, we are more and more faced with long term, persistent stress which leads to health problems.

So what are the effects of stress on health?

Conditions caused or aggravated by stress include the following, among others:

  • Chest pains
  • Heart attack
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin problems - psoriasis, eczema, acne
  • Coronary thrombosis
  • Epileptic attacks
  • Kidney disease
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Migraine headaches
  • Tension headaches
  • Lower back pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Ulcers
  • Colitis
  • Panic attacks
  • Shingles
  • Asthma
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Endocrine and autoimmune problems
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Raynaud's disease


As you can see the effects of stress on health conditions are very profound. No system in your body is unaffected. Even your mind and emotions are affected by too much stress.

Stress is very complex and it affects you on all levels of your being. Learn more about stress and its effects by learning about symptoms of stress.

Related Articles:

Effects of Stress
Effects of Stress on the Brain
Long Term Effects of Stress
Psychological Effects of Stress
Positive Effects of Stress
Physical Effects of Stress


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Words of Wisdom

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
~Sydney J. Harris

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
~Chinese Proverb

There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
~Henry Kissinger

Humor, a great stress reliever!
Laugh, be happy and have less stress!
~Catherine Pulsifer



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