9 Signs Stress Is Affecting You Physically

Oct 17, 2018 by apost team

Being under stress is never any fun. When you are stressed out, it feels impossible to get enough sleep and enjoy life.

It turns out that your added stress could actually make you sick. Initially, you might feel moody, exhausted, unmotivated, anxious and lethargic.

Before long, stress can cause other illnesses in your body. The stress can be caused from external sources like work, financial issues or problems at home. An internal stress like an infection, sleep problems or a chemical imbalance could also be the problem.

The Role of Stress in the Body


Long ago, stress actually helped humans exist. The stress response told your body to prepare to fight a tiger or run from an attack. Now, the same response is happening when we are not in actual danger. When your body is under stress, your adrenal glands start releasing chemicals and hormones like epinephrine, adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine.

Your body releases these hormones to help you deal with sudden risks. The only problem is that your body mistakes things like an angry message from your boss for a sign of danger.

When your body is under chronic stress, your adrenal glands struggle to keep up. Before long, they start producing less cortisol. You end up feeling exhausted and weak.


When you are suffering from an adrenal insufficiency, it can cause a range of problems:

  • Changes in fat and weight distribution
  • Muscle aches, headaches, and pain
  • Neural tissue health like memory loss
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Musculoskeletal imbalances
  • Immune system issues
  • Endocrine function
  • Skin Irritations
  • Detoxification problems

Your Lower Back


One of the areas that stress affects is your lower back. Often, you will have back pain without remembering how you hurt your lower back. This is because your adrenals are exhausted. This exhaustion presents itself as back pain in your body.

When one part of your body is out of balance, it can affect your organs, spine, fascia, muscles and tissues. If your back pain does not seem to be from an injury or physical wear, then it might be caused by your adrenal glands.

Starting to Heal

Your first goal is to figure out how much DHEA, estrogen, melatonin, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol your body is currently producing. You need this information so that you can figure out how to balance your hormones. A DUTCH panel can help you spot deficiencies.

After reviewing your results, you may want to use Rhodiola or Ashwagandha to lower your cortisol levels. Meanwhile, ginseng and licorice root can actually boost your cortisol. No matter what treatment you use, you need to be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. Your doctor may also want to use a deep tissue massage to correct physical abnormalities. Better posture can also prevent back pain.

Your Gut


Chronic stress can affect your gut health. When your body suppresses or increases cortisol, it leads to poor gut health. A kind of neurotransmitter known as catecholamines increases when you are under stress. This neurotransmitter can break down your mucosal lining in your digestive tract.

When you are under stress, it also impacts your enteric nervous system (ENS) and your central nervous system (CNS). Both of these systems are linked to your guy. When there is inflammation in your digestive tract, signals are sent to your ENS that cause your behavior and mood to change.

Your nervous system and digestive tract are inextricably linked.

This is one of the reasons why you might experience diarrhea or constipation when you are under stress. Scientists are now looking at how stress might contribute to problems like irritable bowel disease, food sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Starting to Heal

To boost your gut health, try changing up your diet. Switch to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Get your protein and fats from foods like almond butter, fatty fish, avocados, olive oil and coconut oil. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha are great for gut health. Also, try using foods that are rich in probiotics like cultured dairy and kefir.

Your Brain


Cortisol has a horrifying impact on the human mind. It can actually kill and damage cells within your hippocampus. This section of the brain is responsible for your memory. Chronic stress can cause your brain to age prematurely.

The hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis normally sends signals to your adrenal glands about changing cortisol levels.

When you have too much or too little cortisol, it impacts this feedback loop.

Starting to Heal

Sometimes, you cannot get rid of every source of stress in your life. The best thing that you can do is find ways to alleviate stress. Stress reduction techniques like spiritual guidance, meditation, quiet time, yoga and prayer can help.


When you do yoga or meditate, it activates your parasympathetic nervous system. It gives your body a chance to regenerate. Whether you take a hike in the forest or enjoy a warm bath, you need to have at least 20 minutes of alone time to relax each day.

If this article helped you spot the hidden signs of stress, make sure that your friends can learn about this topic as well. What did you think about this article? Let us know by dropping a comment!

Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!