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5 Ways Chronic Stress is Bad for Your Body

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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Read more: Anxiety, Conditions, General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, Stress

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12:38AM PDT on Oct 13, 2014

Thank you!

12:53AM PDT on Sep 30, 2014

Thank you!

9:55PM PDT on Sep 25, 2014

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

1:52PM PDT on Sep 21, 2014

Sounds accurate.

5:15AM PDT on Sep 20, 2014

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

3:25AM PDT on Sep 20, 2014

Thank you :)

7:52PM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

The biggest problem NOT mentioned is STRESS CAN KILL YOU!

7:30PM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

Thank you :)

9:23AM PDT on Sep 11, 2014

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

8:53AM PDT on Sep 11, 2014

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?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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