5 Ways Chronic Stress is Bad for Your Body

Take a deep breath before you keep reading—stress comes with side effects that are, well, stressing us out.


Stress causes hair loss.

The average person loses 50-100 hairs per day. But when you’re stressed out, up to three-quarters of your hair can fall out, thanks to a sex hormone called androgen that (temporarily) messes with your follicles. To combat the effects, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet that encourages healthy hair growth—think salmon (for the protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids), walnuts and walnut oil (for the biotin and vitamin E), and lentils (for the protein, iron, and biotin).


Stress can kill your sex drive.

Researchers hypothesize that the stress hormone cortisol can lead to low levels of physical arousal for women. The cure? Sex, actually—it’s been shown to actually relieve stress. Exercise can help as well, by increasing blood flow (including to the genitals).


Stress can mess with your skin.

When under stress, your body releases hormones like cortisol, which can increase your skin’s oil production and cause breakouts. It can also cause flare-ups of pre-existing skin conditions, like eczema. For chronic conditions, make sure you’re sticking to your treatment plan during stressful times and using noncomedogenic makeup and skincare products.


Stress makes you forgetful and absent-minded.

Left your keys in the fridge? Blanked on a big meeting? It could be due to stress. The stress hormone cortisol reduces synapses in your pre-frontal cortex, the area of your brain that’s responsible for your short-term memory. Chronic stress can even lead to long-term problems with information processing. Activities like yoga and meditation can help keep your mind sharp when you’re going through a stressful period.


Stress can make you achey.

Your body produces hormones that increase muscle tension and pain sensitivity when you’re stressed—a combination that can lead to backaches, a tight jaw, and shoulder and neck pain. Try to relieve the stress-induced aches by exercising 30 minutes a day—working out releases hormones that decrease pain—and finish up with stretches for your neck, shoulders, and back.


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Magdalena J.
Magdalena C.about a year ago

Thank you!

Magdalena J.
Magdalena C.about a year ago

Thank you!

Carole R.
Carole R.about a year ago

I'm sure this is true. Stress is a killer.

Gail Edenson
Gail Edensonabout a year ago

Sounds accurate.

Nikki Davey
Nikki Daveyabout a year ago

Sounds about right sadly. Would like to be less stressed.

Elena P.
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you :)

Sharon Stein
Sharon Steinabout a year ago

The biggest problem NOT mentioned is STRESS CAN KILL YOU!

Elena P.
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you :)

Robert O.
Robert O.about a year ago

Stress is lethal and we have to do everything we can to combat it.

Amy L.
Amy L.about a year ago

I will say I have a hard time with stress. I'm trying to manage it with exercise, getting more sleep, drinking more water, eating whole foods, loving on my furry kids. I cut the news out: watching the news is so stressful because of all the chaos going on - our local news is filled with crimes like murder, rape and robbery and then the world news is more killing. I can't take it anymore so I quit watching the news. Has anyone else experienced this or am I alone?