10 side effects of work related stress you didn’t know about

in Special Feature 28 July 2016
Image © Can Stock Photo

10 side effects of work related stress you didn’t know about

Headache, Pain, Stress, Health, Sick, Migraine, Painful Negative stress comes from many areas in life. It is the pressure to conform to do all the things that we are told or feel we should be doing.

While stress can be a good thing, negative stress or too much stress drains us, physically and emotionally.

The danger is that although we think we know what the signs of stress are, when we are consumed in everyday life, we miss these signs.

We only realise how much we have changed and how much we are suffering when we reach breaking point.

And we all have different breaking points.

This is any given time in which we realise that we are living life with negative forces relentlessly driving us on and on.

For some, it can be realisation that they are not accomplishing what they thought they were or the realisation that something is not as important as they thought.

For others, it is a more physical realisation, perhaps they are suffering from a medical condition that was brought on and exacerbated by stress. For example, stress-related incontinence, necessitating the need for incontinence pads to manage it, is not an uncommon occurrence.

What other signs of stress are there? Do you understand if you are stressed or not? Do you realise its impact?

1. Stress as an unrelenting driver

It can be the catalyst for bigger and better things but it can also be relentless. Thus, stress means we focus on some things at the cost of everything else, including our health. Not seeking help when we have a medical problem because there is ‘no time to do so’, is a common phrased uttered. Stress-related incontinence, for example, is a medical condition as a result of weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles – and is perfectly treatable.

2. Cravings

You may think of it as a sweet tooth but when a craving for something sugary, or junk food or anything of that ilk grips you, it can be hard to say no. Stress places pressure on your system and when you have a weakness, e.g. sugary snacks, this craving is intensified.

3. Hair loss

You know the phrase, ‘tearing your hair out’? It might be true as hair loss is commonly associated with stress. There are some research findings that suggest a stressed physical system is not as able to take up amino acids and trace elements from food to support the growth of healthy hair.

4. Itchy skin

Similar to hair loss, there is also scientific data that suggests common skin conditions such as eczema could be made worse when a person is under stress. If you have noticed your skin positively glows when you are on holiday and away from it all, this may be your body’s way of telling you that you are overly stressed.

5. Dry skin

Staying with our skin which is the largest organ in the body, many dermatologists believe that stress, along with medical conditions and illness, tend to show very quickly on the top layer of skin. If you notice you have excessively dry skin, this may be your body’s way of telling you there is something wrong – and being overly stressed is one of them.

6. Chest pains and palpitations

When you are under stress, your body can lack the basic nutrients that it needs to function, and to function at the top end of its ability. In other words, you are constantly running on empty but asking your body to continue performing without offering it the support that it needs.

One way this can manifest itself is in chest pains and palpitations, the feeling of the heart fluttering. If this is happening, take note and do something about your stress levels – and do it now! (You should also see your doctor.)

7. Eyelid spasms

This could be a eureka moment for many people. These spasms are not visible to other people, but can feel uncomfortable and irritating. The build-up of lactic acid is caused because, when we are stressed, we tend not to breathe in the right way. We hold our breath more often and we take shallower breaths leading to waste products in the muscles not being carried away. This can lead to eyelid spasms, as well as stiffness in the neck and shoulders.

8. Ringing in the ears

The ear sends a stream of nerve impulses to the brain which are interpreted as sounds. Being stressed can trigger an abnormal stream of impulses that are sent to the brain and which your doctor may diagnose as tinnitus. Although not well understood, medical scientists believe there is a connection for some people with tinnitus and their stress levels.

9. Irregular periods

If your menstrual cycle is out of synch with periods happening at odd times, or spotting in-between periods then this could be down to stress. Women who are stressed over a very long period of time may notice their periods stop as their body is sending messages that it knows it is not the right time to reproduce.

10. Stomach problems

From loose stools to constipation, to stomach ache to heart burn, being stressed can cause all kinds of issues with the digestive system. From producing excess acid, to not eating the healthiest things we can and should, stress decreases our enjoyment of food and life in general.

Recognise yourself as stressed? Do something about it!

HARTMANN Direct is a leading UK supplier of incontinence products for men and women. Managing incontinence is about understanding why it is happening, what can be done about it and using the right products to manage the symptoms.

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