The Effect of Stress on Systems in the Body

The Effect of Stress on Systems in the Body-

Central Nervous System -
Anxiety, depression, and fatigue

Cardiovascular System -
Impaired heart function; can cause angina
Constriction of the peripheral blood vessels, thereby raising blood pressure

Digestive System -
Stomach upsets, even ulcers
Peptic ulcers
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Canker sores in the mouth

Respiratory System -

Musculoskeletal Syst -
Tension in skeletal muscles and joints, leading to backache and muscularaches and pains.
Predisposition to arthritis; degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Immune System -
Weakened defenses, with lowered resistance to infections
Viral illnesses (often due to a depleted immune defense system)
Malignant cell changes; cancer

Endocrine System-
Menstrual disorders
Thyroid disorders (underactive, overactive, thyroiditis)
Adrenal hypofunction

Reproductive System -
Premature ejaculation

Skin -

General -
Tissue degeneration
Acceleration of aging process

Early warning Signs of Stress-

Menstrual problems
Speech difficulties
More impatient
Nail biting
Grinding teeth
Low blood sugar
High blood sugar
Need more sleep
Tired but can't sleep
Sudden weight loss
Sudden weight gain
Low blood pressure
High blood pressure
Lack of coordination
Repeated influenza
Repeated colds
Muscle aches
Hair loss
Chest pain
Nervous talking
Lower back pain
Loss of appetite
Increased appetite
High cholesterol
High triglycerides
Excessive fatigue
Gastric disturbance
Withdraw from social life.


Find a physical activity that you enjoy and make time for it. (i.e. racquetball, jogging, walking, bicycling, swimming, etc.)

Prioritize your time on paper and set reasonable goals that can be accomplished. Don't expect too much from yourself.

Don't make unnecessary appointments or unachievable deadlines. Learn to say "No".

Create opportunities when you can relax your entire mind and body.

Tense then relax the major muscle groups in the body (calves, etc.) until the entire body feels relaxed.

Avoid a stress prone diet: eat breakfast, space meals evenly throughout the day, avoid excess caffeine and sugar (sugar depletes the body's store of vitamin B complex), take vitamin C and B complex supplements.

Use family or friends as a support group.

Recognize your own body's physical and mental signs of stress and develop your positive strategies of coping.

Learn to develop a sense of humor about yourself and your problems.

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