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How Stress Affects Your Health

Can stress affect my health? How do I know if I’m overstressed? How can I manage my stress?



Does stress affect your health?

Yes, too much stress can damage your physical and mental health. Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but too much stress can increase risk for serious health issues including:


Physical:

●      Digestive issues

●      Headaches

●      Muscle pain

●      Heart Disease

●      High Blood Pressure

●      Stroke


Mental:

●      Depression

●      Anxiety

●      Memory lapse

●      Difficulty concentrating


Most importantly, stress can lower the strength of your immune system, making it harder to fight any of these issues.


What causes chronic stress?

Chronic stress is long-term stress that doesn’t always go away after a stressful situation passes. Many people experience chronic stress after big life events like divorce, the death of a loved one, or the birth of a child. Certain lifestyle choices can also increase stress-related symptoms such as a diet with a lot of red or processed meats.


Do I have chronic stress?  

It’s not always easy to tell when you’re overstressed, but if you have any of the following symptoms or are over the age of 50, it might be time to talk to a doctor:


●      Difficulty making basic decisions

●      Difficulty getting out of bed or doing basic tasks

●      Long-term exhaustion

●      Long-term stomach problems unrelated to a diet change

●      Increased heart rate


How do I manage my stress?

Self-care goes a long way to reducing stress, but the best way to manage long-term stress is to ask for help. We often fall into stressful situations when we have too much on our plate. Reach out to family and friends when you can and keep your tasks organized. 


When in doubt, you can also always seek help from a medical professional.


To find out more about SAC Health services and talk to a caring doctor near you, visit www.sachealth.org/patients to find out how you can become a patient.

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