Effects of Stress
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Humans developed survival instincts. Things that threaten our means of
subsistence, being part of a group, and finding a mate can cause a lot of
Psychological stress can cause psychological and physical disorders.
In times of stress the body responds with what is called the fight or flight
response. The body releases hormones into the body and they make a person
stronger and faster.
One of the hormones that are released into the blood stream is called Cortisol.
Cortisol increases in response to stress.
Long periods of stress weaken the immune system. Long periods of stress affect
the thymus gland.
The thymus gland plays a key role in our immune system by producing t-cell
lymphocytes, cells called macrophages, which kill off bacterial invaders. The
steroid called Cortisol weakens Macrophages. Cortisol also plays a part in the
regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular functions.
Stress lowers your learning capabilities.
Long periods of stress and the release of Cortisol can disrupt your blood sugar
metabolism, lead to weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood
pressure, heart attacks, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches, asthma, eye
problems, constipation, diarrhea, premature aging, cancer, decreased
levels of testosterone, muscle and bone loss, decrease sexual function, women
can develop new facial hair growth, skin disease, Cushing’s syndrome, Addison's
disease, anxiety, insomnia, memory problems,
trigger emotional problems, irritability, burnouts, and depression. The adrenal glands can shrink and reduce production.
Chronic stress disrupts neuro path ways and kills certain cells in the brain.
Stress hormones have been shown in animals to be directly toxic to memory
centers. Brain cells can die with prolonged stress.
The key is the immune system. It can be weakened to leave the person vulnerable to serious illness like cancer or it can be
strengthened to fight off powerful invaders and even cancer it's self.
A tactic that is sometimes used, to break a person down psychologically and
physically, is to induce as much stress as possible for a long period of time.
''In a similar way, sleep deprivation also decreases brain activity and limits
access to learning, memory, and concentration. A recent brain imaging study
showed that people who consistently slept less than 7 hours had overall less
brain activity. Sleep problems are very common in people who struggle with their
thoughts and emotions. Getting enough sleep everyday is essential to brain
Scientists have only recently discovered how stress negatively affects brain
function. Stress hormones have been shown in animals to be directly toxic to
memory centers. Brain cells can die with prolonged stress. Managing stress
effectively is essential to good brain function.''
"Caffeine constricts blood vessels and has been shown to decrease brain
activity.... Stay away from substances known to be toxic or those that decrease
Note: We are not affiliated to these web sites in anyway. You will need to read
The Physical Effects of Long-Term Stress
eurekalert.org - Researchers-again-pinpoint why stress kills
The Stress and Cortisol Information Hub
Ask Jeeves - Stress
Ask Jeeves - Cortisol