By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com editor
Stress and worrying can make you physically sick. Stress is a pressure cooker: Left un-attended it will boil over. Stress and worry are proven to affect your physical health and may even shorten your lifespan.
Severe, chronic stress takes a physical toll and can damage your body in many ways – everything from your heart to your immune system. Because it negatively impacts so many health conditions, caregiver stress could even shorten your lifespan. Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache or your upset stomach. But the culprit could be stress.
How does stress affect the body?
Our bodies have a natural “stress alarm system” that warns us and responds to perceived danger and threats.
According to the National Institutes on Health (NIH), when you encounter perceived threats, your hypothalamus (a region at the base of your brain) sets off an alarm system in your body, Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located near your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, NIH says.