5 Truly Crazy Things Stress Does to Our Bodies

Stress_Effects_bodyStress. It's something we all deal with on a regular basis. Sure, a little tense feeling every once in a while may be no big thang, we can all handle the small stuff, right?  However, the reality of the nagging anxiety is that stress can have major effects on your body, and I'm not just talkin' a little headache.

Take a look at these 5 scary effects of stress you need to know about right now:


1. It actually makes you sick: People that are high-stress are more likely to show a resistance to cortisol. Cortis-what? Right, that's the hormone that provides energy to the body and helps suppress your immune response to infections like the flu. In other words, it helps keep fevers, coughing, and sneezing away. So, when you're stressing out, you're more susceptible to sickness.

2. Hello, memory loss: Scary, isn't it? According to a study from Rush University, stressed out people are 40 percent more likely to develop cognitive impairments. And get this: high-stress may actually damage the hippocampus, the area in the brain that's responsible for long-term memory. Exhale, deep breaths.

3. Increased risk of stroke or heart attack: Those same high levels of cortisol affecting your immune system also increase triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol. When those things go up, your risk for heart disease does as well.

4. Fertility issues: When you're super stressed out, your hormones are all outta whack. And when your hormones are outta whack, sometimes you stop ovulating. When ovulation stops, you're unable to conceive. The good news? Women who went through cognitive behavioral therapy as part of an Emory University study were able to start ovulating again.

5. Hair loss: Something I always thought was a myth, it turns out that stress and hair loss can be related. Stress can cause three different types of hair loss: trichotillomania (an irresistible urge to pull out your hair from your scalp), telogen effluvium (a condition that pushes hair into the resting phase, which occurs normally before hair falls out), and alopecia areata (where white blood cells attack the hair follicle, stopping hair growth).

Have you ever considered that your stress levels could actually be unhealthy?


Image via Tom Grill/Corbis

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