The Impact of Stress on Our Health By Ben Lindau, Daniela Garcia, Tiffany Lau
What is stress? • Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. • ( This basically means that it is the body’s reaction and way of handling a certain circumstance which causes you to have problems.) • Not all stress is bad. Sometimes, an excited or happy feeling can be a form of stress. (Something good that you worry about.) Example: Homework, tests, sports games, or even family can be sources for stress. Good stress can come from winning a sports game, getting good grades on a test, and maybe being anxious for an event.
What happens when a person is under stress? There are many reasons why people get stressed. When you have stress, you may feel:
Stress Hormones • Cortisol: Cortisol is very important for our bodies. It helps maintain the state of a healthy blood pressure. Also, it is what creates energy for the body by stimulating fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy. • Norepinephrine: Norepinephrine is also important for our bodies. This hormone is similar to adrenaline, which makes you react and be attentive of what is going on. It also helps to shift blood flow away from areas where it is not essential and instead transmit that blood to important areas such as the muscles. • Overall, these hormones are very important when you are stressed because they keep you alert of what is going on and you are more aware of what will happen next, “fight or flight” which is a natural instinct and is used to respond to a threatening situation.
Stress Hormones (explained) • Cortisol: The problem with Cortisol in times when you are stressed, depending if your stress is intense or not, is that it starts building up over the years, which may lead to a condition called “Cushing’s syndrome”. This syndrome can affect your body in many different ways because it includes a lot of symptoms which people will not enjoy. For example, • Weight gain • High Blood pressure • Mood swings and Muscle weakness. • Norepinephrine: This is another major stress hormone that can sometimes be dangerous. If the level of norepinephrine rises rapidly, then it can cause panic attacks. The more stress you have will determine the amount of this hormone piling up inside for the next time you get stressed. If the norepinephrine levels get high, then the time it would normally take you to relax will increase and the effect of stress may not fade for longer (than usual) periods of time. Therefore, you will not be able to recover the way you did before.
Sources • Janet M. Torpy, MD, Writer , ( October 10, 2007) “ Chronic Stress and the Heart” MedlinePlushttp://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?v%3Aproject=medlineplus&query=effects+of+stress+on+the+heart&x=0&y=0 • Various sources for article( Look up in website),( June 16 2011) “Stress and Anxiety” MedlinePlus http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003211.htm • Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.( Last updated: July 2013). “ Stress symptoms, signs and causes.” Helpguide.orghttp://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD ( unknown date). “Stress, Hormones and Weight Gain” Medicine. Nethttp://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp? articlekey=53304 Unknown author, (April 20, 2011) “Stress Management- Effects of Stress” WebMD http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-effects-of-stress Familydoctor.org staff, (November 2010) “Cushing syndrome” MedlinePlus/ FamilyDoctor http://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?v%3Aproject=medlineplus&query=too+much+cortisol.&x=0&y=0 and http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/cushings-syndrome.printerview.all.html