Stress Related Diseases

Topics: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Stress Pages: 3 (756 words) Published: November 19, 2005
STRESS RELATED DISEASES

Several definitions of stress have been proposed thus causing a great deal of confusion. Therefore, I would like to leave the meaning of this word very simple. It is a term we human beings use to stand for hundreds of specific problems in our lives. It is a word we use when we feel angry, depressed, frustrated or worried. Stress can be categorized into physical, emotional and behavioral. I would like to dwell only on the physical effects of stress. Research shows that years of repeated stresses can cause an array of health problems.

Whether it is the stress of daily life, the pressures of an executive job frustrations of a lower-level position or even social upheaval in an unstable country, the chronic activation of the body's stress response systems can damage health. Recent research has focused on booth the protective and damaging effect of the body's hormonal responses to stress. When secreted in response to acute stress, stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol actually protect and help the body adapt to stress. But when stress hormones are not turned off after stress, overexposure to these hormones wears in the body. In the brain, repeated stress impairs memories that track our every day activities. Long term stress also accelerates several biological markers of aging, including age-related neuronal damage. Chronic stress also affects the immune system, increasing the susceptibility to infections, such as common cold. Stress can also be linked to weakened bones and increased fat deposits around the belly.

The most commonly researched physical effects of stress is the cardiovascular system. Studies show that job stress can chronically raise blood pressure and that stress due to lack of control on the job increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Studies also linked stress to changes in blood clotting factors that increase the risk of heart attack. For example one study of stress from social instability showed...
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