Is stress having an impact on your health?

Stress (whether it be physical, chemical or emotional) causes a change to the physiology of the body. Our bodies are designed to cope with short term amounts of stress however when the body is under constant stress day in day out, this is what is having a detrimental effect on our health. When the body is functioning in a state of stress, inflammation is also increased which can lead to health problems.


The body releases stress hormones, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, when it enters the classic ‘fight-or-flight’ response when the nervous system is functioning in a sympathetic dominant state (stress state). Once again this is not always bad, like if you were in the jungle and about to be chased by a tiger you want your heart rate and breathing rate to increase and have more blood to your extremities so you can run!

Stress hormones also stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory signalling molecules. If the stress levels stay high for a prolonged period of time and inflammation increases as a result, this is what can have a negative impact on your health.

Stress can also wreak havoc with the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is produced by cholesterol in the adrenal glands. It is normally released upon waking up, exercising and acute stress. Cortisol prepares the body for a fight-or-flight response by increasing glucose to supply an immediate energy source to large muscles. Cortisol inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose from being stored so it can be used straight away. Cortisol narrows the arteries while epinephrine increases the heart rate, both then increase force in which blood is pumped. When the individual resolves the stressful situation the hormone levels return to normal.


So what is the problem? With modern life being fast paced and ever-stressed our bodies are pumping out cortisol almost constantly. This is what is having a negative effect on our health.

Cortisol helps to reduce inflammation in the body. The attempt though to reduce inflammation overtime also suppresses the immune system. Chronic inflammation, due to lifestyle stresses, keeps cortisol levels high and thus wreaking havoc on the immune system. This can lead to a whole range of health issues.


To prevent stress from causing inflammation you may like to include the following strategies:

  • Meditation/balanced deep breathing
  • Eating fresh health natural foods
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising
  • Spend time doing activities you love
  • Addressing psychological/emotional issues
  • Anti-inflammatory diet 
  • Eliminate caffeine

If you have any specific questions regarding your individual situation or you would love further information please contact us here at Global Chiropractic on 54443388 or email [email protected]

Global Chiropractic

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