Stress Kills: Is Yours Out Of Control?

lone worried girl sitting on bench cloudy stormy weather
Stress is one of the most silent killers on the planet. This is because people don’t realize something is going wrong, or they refuse to act on it.

But why does stress contribute to so many aspects ill health, leading to death?

It is because often it is untraceable. You may not realize you are suffering from stress overload.

Interested to know if your stress is becoming out of control? Look for the following tell-tale signs:

Unexplained Aches And Pain About The Body

A little pain here and there is normal and should be nothing to get worried over. But it can spell a worrying trend when it occurs too often. And this is the case with continual stress all the time.

Muscular pains occur around the back, neck or shoulder areas. They are often caused by poor sleep patterns, although it is not always the case. Medication to treat the pain many only yield temporary relief and not as a long term solution.

Frequent Colds And Infections

One thing associated with high-stress levels is the negative effect on immunity. Cortisol suppresses the immune system and leaves the body wide open to infection. This is especially troublesome during flu season. Take extra precautions (such as increasing anti-oxidant food consumption).

Poor Sleep Patterns

Insomnia is usually one of the first signs to appear when you are over-stressed. Cortisol does not work by itself. It recruits the neurochemicals adrenalin and noradrenalin, which enhance awareness, and energy levels.

This is an important function in the mornings when you need that “get up and go” boost. But interferes at night when you should be unwinding. Use of heavy stimulant based supplements (caffeine) too late at night will cause this to occur.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure involves many pathways all experiencing dysfunction for its development. Cortisol happy to oblige. High blood pressure starts with retention of water that increases blood volume. This can lead to a faster heart rate, and blood vessel constriction. All these factors increase blood pressure. So there is a need to manage cortisol and stress levels.

Loss Of Sex Drive

Both men and women need a normal level of testosterone to modulate sex drive. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol suppress testosterone. Cortisol and testosterone share a negative inverse relationship. This means that as one goes up, the other goes down. A loss of sex drive in a normal young person can be an indicator of over-stressed.

Frequent Outbursts Or Mood Swings

It can be hard to maintain a level head when stress levels are high. It can cause you to lash out at anyone who irritates you. This is not normal behavior. Especially if the individual was before very level headed. If it does occur, it may be best to reduce workload and spend more time with family and loved ones in a bid to relax.

Depression Or Feelings Of Inadequacy

Stress can affect your emotional well-being since it can tear apart relationships. You are likely to be irritable, picking fights, or feel pressured to perform. This can amount to depression, anxiety or feelings of disappointment. Depression is sometimes difficult to diagnose. Especially in individuals without a strong support system.


If experiencing one or more of the symptoms with increasing frequency, it is time to step back. A vacation, weekend getaway or a simple trek in the great outdoors can do wonders for your well-being.

Take care and be well.
Tommy Douglas


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