The Effects of Stress on Health

A Research Project by Jack Austin(6th) and Kyle Bonham(4th)

Introduction to Stress

Stress is the tensing of muscles, secretion of hormones, a change in your neurochemical composure, etc. It can be caused by things ranging from work to relationships. Stress sits upon a broad horizon, effecting many human beings across the Earth. Stress can cause people to flout each other or it can cause people to have a nervous breakdown. Shedding some light on this fragile topic, here is our presentation about stress.

Some Physical Effects

When people are placed in stressful situations, such as tests, time crunches, and typical work days, your body temperature will rise and you will become uneasy. Stress stimulates the release of hormones, causing the muscles in your body to tense, your blood pressure to rise, and can create headaches.

Some More Physical Effects

Continuous stress without any relief of some sort can lead to a disorder called distress. When you have distress, your body reacts in many different ways. Including the above paragraph, distress can also put you at risk for upset stomachs, chest pain, and sleep deprivation.

Ripple Effect

Stress can also help cause some diseases or exacerbate a current one, physically and mentally speaking. Stress can be a major contributing factor to some infamous illnesses like Heart disease, Asthma, and Diabetes/Obesity. Your Hormone Cortisol will report higher levels than normal when under stress,meaning excess fat will be deposited in your stomach.

Homework Kills by Stress!!!!!!

Random Stress Facts

  • Stress contributes to half of all illnesses in the United States
  • Your hair can turn gray or fall off due to stress
  • Stress accounts for 30% of infertility problems
  • Any type of skin condition can be worsened because of stress causing inflammation
  • You have three major stress hormones; Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine
  • Chronic stress in children impairs development
  • Stress can cause your blood to become "sticky" in preparation for a flesh wound to form a blood clot to prevent bleeding
  • Men are more likely to suffer from the effects of stress

The Three Major Stress Hormones

Adrenaline, Norepinephrine, and Cortisol

Adrenaline

Adrenaline is secreted from the Adrenal glands, which causes your immediate reactions in stressful situations. Adrenaline will increase your heart rate, give you a surge of energy, and focus your attention. An example of how adrenaline works is as if your riding your bike down the street and you try to cross to the other side. A car driving at 100 mph speeds right in front of where you were and you swerve back to your original location. Your sweating, your heart is pounding, and your breathing faster. That swerving back to your original spot was adrenaline working.

Norepinephrine

A hormone similar to adrenaline and secreted from the same place as adrenaline. Norepinephrine is sort of a backup system for adrenaline and also directs blood flow to more crucial areas during stressful situations. Though the primary role of itself is arousal, adrenaline can take care of that while the norepinephrine directs the blood to where it needs to go. Without it, we could be toast in a life or death situation when our adrenal glands are not working properly.

Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted from the adrenal glands. Secreting coritsol takes a few minutes because it is a multi-step process, involving two minor hormones. The part of the brain called the Amygdala has to recognize a threat. It then sends a message to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which releases CRH. CRH then tells the pituitary gland to release ACTH, which tells the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. It helps to maintain fluid balance and blood pressure, while running some body functions that might not be important in the moment, like immunity, digestion, and growth.

Positive Stress

Stress can sometimes be good for you. Stress is designed to alert you. But, sometimes you just get irritated instead.

Memory

Your memory can be effected by stress as well. The ability to encode memories is blocked, and it is harder to evoke memories when under stress. Depending upon the amount of stress you feel, your brain's changes (when under stress) in acute and chronic areas can cause permanent and relatively severe damage.

Over-Secretion of Stress Hormones

Over-secretion of your stress hormones is Distress. Stress is the body's natural reaction to a challenge; your body realizes a challenge, stimulates your central nervous system in particular areas, which causes your reaction. People with a tendency to be irrational and eccentric in their actions are probably are under some stress. They react to something with no reasoning because the stimulation of your nervous system and the instantaneous secretion of your hormones cause them to. This is also a leading factor in anxiety.

Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or unease. Stress is a more of a physical reaction than anxiety. Stress makes you feel frustrated or nervous. The feeling of anxiety can indirectly harm you such as if your anxiety turns into stress and you then create Distress. Anxiety will effect your mental well being overall though.

Physical Symptom of Stress and Anxiety

  • Stomach ache
  • Muscle tension
  • Headache
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Pyschological Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety

  • Irrational Anger
  • Difficulty with Concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Panic or Nervous; especially in social situations
  • Feelings of impending doom

Stress Anxiety-Related Disorders

  • General Anxiety Disorder- A very prevalent disorder in which feelings of impending danger are present.
  • Panic Disorder- A condition where you experience essentially panic attacks.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- Where you go through flashbacks or anxiety as a result of a traumatic experience.
  • Social Phobia- Intense feelings of anxiety when interacting with people.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder- A condition when people feel compulsion to complete ritual actions consistently.

Management Techniques

  • Eating a balanced, healthy diet
  • Less caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Meditating
  • Practicing deep breathing
  • Recognize your stressor
  • Talk to someone about your feelings

Stop Stressing Start Living