We’ve all felt stressed from time to time, whether we’re worrying about finances, taking on a new job, moving house, experiencing health concerns or under pressure to hit deadlines. There are lots of different things that can cause us stress and everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.
We know how tough stress can be from a mental health perspective. But what you may not know is just how much of an impact it can have on your physical health. Here are some of the ways in which stress could affect you:
It Leads to Sugar and Fat Cravings
When you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol and studies have linked cortisol with cravings for sugar and fats.
In other words, when you’re experiencing stress, you’re likelier to eat and drink fattier, more sugary foods, which can in turn have a negative impact on your health.
Increased Fat Retention
There is a significant correlation between stress and weight gain. And some of this is certainly down to the cravings we mentioned above. But studies have also shown that cortisol also correlates with the body storing more fat and even increases the size of fat cells.
Stress directly impacts how well you sleep and many of us have sleep troubles while we are experiencing stress. The result of a lack of sleep is increased sugar cravings, feelings of weakness, an inability to concentrate and other problems.
Stress leads to tension headaches or even migraines – a incredibly unpleasant side effect.
Stress can make existing indigestion and heartburn problems worse. But newer studies suggest it could even cause such problems.
Tracking Cortisol Levels
These are just a handful of a host of physical health problems that can be brought about by stress. So it makes sense to proactively track stress levels over time, something you can easily do with a home cortisol test.