People are constantly exposed to stress thanks to the environment they are surrounded by. Daily routines such as going to work, interaction with colleagues and customers, unpleasant situations, dark thoughts and quarrels contribute to the occurrence of stress.

Stress is something that we cannot predict or measure it in order to prevent it. There are all kinds of medications doctors prescribe to their patients to soften the effects of stress, but long-term use of these “sidekicks” can have negative result on human body and eventually their effect will become weak.

How does Stress Affect the Body

how does stress affect the body

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Scientists work on finding technology that will be able to help us detect shifts in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Until that day comes we will be dealing with stress following the western and functional medicine.

For that purpose here are couple of facts why stress is the most dangerous toxin in your body:

1. Childhood Memories Dictate your Level of Stress

how does stress affect the body

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Every single pleasant or unpleasant memorable event from your childhood is a basis for releasing high or low levels of corticotropin during your entire life.

2. Stress has Negative Effects on the Brain

how does stress affect the body

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Very often chronic stress can cause serious damage on the brain, especially on the part responsible for memory, hippocampus. Stress releases cortisol, hormone that kills certain brain cells which can lead to stroke and premature ageing.

3. Immune System can be shut off due to Stress

how does stress affect the body

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When stress becomes chronic the immune system is also affected. Stress can slow down any type of healing, lower the effects of vaccines, contribute to a lack of energy and reactivate infections so cold sores and flues will reappear again.

4. Bones and Muscles React to Stress too

how does stress affect the body

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Stress has impact on bone health. People who suffer from chronic stress experience more pain, since the stress hormones are closely connected with lower bone mineral density. When high level of cortisol is present in our blood, our bone mineral density is lower.

5. Stress and Sex Hormones

how does stress affect the body

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Long term chronic stress can have negative impact on your sex hormones. As it is mentioned above, increased level of cortisol can have serious effect on your health. In this case it causes production of small amount of sex hormones and increases the sex hormone binding globulin, which means that only small number of these hormones are in touch with your cells.

6. Stress can Harm your Cardiovascular Health

how does stress affect the body

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Constant stress can contribute to long term problems for heart and blood vessels. It makes your heart work too hard. The on-going stress makes artery walls thicker which increase the risk for heart attack, stroke, blood pressure and hypertension.

7. Stress Lowers your Capability to Metabolize

how does stress affect the body

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Stress slows down your metabolism and has negative effect of how you digest your food. When you are under stress your body produces cortisol and insulin that increase fat storage. Your intestines work slowly and the production of digestive enzyme decreases.

8. Stress Affects Genes

how does stress affect the body

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What turns genes on or off are the hormones and other chemicals that our body releases when we are stressed. This fact changes everything since our genes are responsible for how good our immune system works or how fast our digestive system digest, to whether or not you will develop heart disease or cancer.

9. Chronic Stress Destroys your Mitochondria

how does stress affect the body

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Mitochondria are powerhouses of the cells. These powerhouses generate energy in a form of chemical called ATP that our cells need to work properly. Chronic stress damages these energy factories, but these damage is not permanent. Once the stress is gone they have the ability to restore themselves.

10. The Abdomen and Stress are Closely Connected

how does stress affect the body

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Gastrointestinal system undergoes different changes when our body is affected by stress. Studies have shown that constant stress slows the intestinal transit time, plays important role in the progress of the leaky gut syndrome and the overgrowth of intestinal bacteria that leads to food allergies, diseases and infections.

In order to return your organism in balance, you should turn to functional medicine for help. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-center care rather than disease-focused treatment. Working with functional medicine physician will help you to eliminate the negative effects of stress hormones and the stress- management techniques will help you to cope better with stressful situations in the future.