Symptoms of Stress

Symptoms of stress are different for everyone. Listing all of the symptoms would be endless, but generally speaking the following symptoms are telltale signs of physical and emotional stress. Rest assured, although these can sound scary, they are all manageable!

Physical symptoms of stress can include the following : rapid heartbeat, headaches, body aches, tight muscles, neck/jaw tightness from clenching your teeth, insomnia, lack of energy, tiredness, high blood pressure, stomach problems, skin rashes, hormonal imbalances, rapid increase or decrease in appetite, sexual dysfunction, and sweating.

Emotional symptoms of stress can include the following signs: anxiety, depression, unstable mood, extreme anger, irrational fears, repetitive behaviors, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, heightened problems in relationships, feelings of irritability, restlessness, obsessing over things, crying a lot, and nightmares.

 

The effects of stress over a long period of time unfortunately show up in not only how you feel, but also how you treat the people around you. Long-term stress can affect how you perform in school, work and personal relationships, and how you function in your family. When your baseline is being in a stressful state, it's almost as if you forget how to relax and be happy. Most people in high achievement-focused cultures live this way and don't even realize it.

Who is most vulnerable to stress?

Stress comes in many forms and affects people of all ages and all walks of life. No external standards can be applied to predict stress levels in individuals -- one need not have a traditionally stressful job to experience workplace stress, just as a parent of one child may experience more parental stress than a parent of several children. The degree of stress in our lives is highly dependent upon individual factors such as our physical health, the quality of our interpersonal relationships, the number of commitments and responsibilities we carry, the degree of others' dependence upon us, expectations of us, the amount of support we receive from others, and the number of changes or traumatic events that have recently occurred in our lives.

Some generalizations, however, can be made. People with adequate social support networks report less stress and overall improved mental health in comparison to those without adequate social support. People who are poorly nourished, who get inadequate sleep, or who are physically unwell also have a reduced capacity to handle pressures and stresses of everyday life and may report higher stress levels. Some stressors are particularly associated with certain age groups or life stages. Children, teens, working parents, and seniors are examples of the groups who often face common stressors related to life transitions.

Teen stress

One example of stress related to a life transition, the teen years often bring about an increase in perceived stress as young adults learn to cope with increasing demands and pressures. Studies have shown that excessive stress during the teen years can have a negative impact upon both physical and mental health later in life. For example, teen stress is a risk factor for the development of depression, a serious condition that carries an increased risk of suicide.

Fortunately, effective stress-management strategies and our Prime 1 remedy can diminish the ill effects of stress. The presence of intact and strong social support among friends, family, and religious or other group affiliations can help reduce the subjective experience of stress during the teen years. Recognition of the problem and helping teens to develop stress-management skills can also be valuable preventive measures. In severe cases, Prime1 can reduce the long-term risks of teen stress.

 

What is the role of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (grouping) in stress?

The HPA axis is a grouping of responses to stress by the brain and the pituitary and adrenal glands. First, the hypothalamus (a central part of the brain) releases a compound called corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF), which was discovered in 1981. The CRF then travels to the pituitary gland, where it triggers the release of a hormone, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). ACTH is released into the bloodstream and causes the cortex of the adrenal gland to release the stress hormones, particularly cortisol, which is a corticosteroid hormone. Cortisol increases the availability of the body's fuel supply (carbohydrate, fat, and glucose), which is needed to respond to stress. However, if cortisol levels remain elevated for too long, then muscle breaks down, there is a decreased inflammatory response, and suppression of the immune (defense) system occurs.

Because they suppress the immune system, corticosteroids in measured doses are used to treat many illnesses that are characterized by inflammation or an overactive immune system, such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. For the same reason, they are used to help reduce the chances that our body will immunologically reject a transplanted organ. Cortisol also can cause fluid retention and high blood pressure. Therefore, it is critical that the response to cortisol be carefully controlled (modulated). This control usually is accomplished by a feedback mechanism in which increased cortisol levels feeding back to the hypothalamus and pituitary turn off production of ACTH. In addition, extremely high levels of cortisol can cause mental changes, including depression and psychosis, which disappear when the levels return to normal. It was clinically proven that Prime 1 is a powerful tonic herb with an impressive range of health benefits. Unlike many herbs with a medicinal use, it is more useful for maintaining good health than treating ill health. Research has shown that it stimulates resistance to stress, so it is now widely used as a tonic in times of stress and pressure. In an alarming situation, the adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline that prepare the organism for the fight-or-flight reaction. When these hormones are depleted, the organism reaches an exhaustive phase. Prime 1 delays the exhaustive phase, and allows a more economical and efficient release of these hormones thereby ensuring a balanced production of cortisol and adrenalin. The end is result is a longer and healthier life.

What are the effects of stress on medical and psychological conditions?

There is undisputable evidence that points to abnormal stress responses as causing various diseases or conditions. These include anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse. Stress can affect virtually any organ system, being associated with conditions as diverse as

  • skin rashes
  • high blood pressure,
  • cardiovascular disease,
  • liver and kidney failure
  • certain gastrointestinal diseases,
  • some cancers,
  • and even the process of aging itself.