Most Common Physical Complaints of Stress

Preventing And Solving Heart and Vascular Diseases Due to Stress

The symptoms and characteristics of stress are not always clear.

But the consequences and consequences can completely destroy your body.

That is why it is good to recognize and solve physical complaints of stress.

In this article you will learn the 10 most common complaints of (chronic) stress. You will also learn what you can do about it.

Purpose of this article: After reading this article you will know exactly what the most common physical complaints are from stress. This way you can immediately recognize this. I also make sure that you get some tools to solve these complaints due to stress.

The most common physical symptoms of stress

Chronic stress is a prolonged and incessant feeling that you are under pressure.

You feel constantly jittery, agitated, and anxiety often flares up.

Chronic stress can be caused by the pressures of daily life, work or traumatic events.

It is very important to know that chronic stress can seriously damage your health if it is not treated.

You can get all kinds of physical complaints that you initially do not associate with stress. But why exactly does stress have such a devastating effect on your health?

Let’s start at the beginning…

As soon as you start to feel stressed, your body will react.

The first response to stress begins in the hypothalamus in the brain. It sends signals to the pituitary gland and adrenal glands. A cascade of stress hormones is released.

These spread through your body causing your heart to beat faster, you breathe faster, your blood pressure skyrockets and you start to sweat.

All of these reactions have a common goal: to help you deal with danger so you can survive.

This survival mechanism is also called the ‘fight or flight’ response of the body and dates back to the very beginning of humanity.

Imagine for a moment that one of your ancient ancestors came face to face with a mammoth. Fight or flight was necessary to survive and for this prehistoric man needed a lot of energy. He obtained this energy through the release of stress hormones. Once the danger had passed, these diminished and the hunter could continue his journey calmly.

It is the same with modern man.

If you see a truck coming towards you, stress hormones ensure that you can take action. You find the strength to jump into the verge and dodge the truck. Although you are scared of it, you realize that you are safe and your stress hormones decrease.

So far nothing is wrong.

Problems arise when these hormones no longer disappear from your body under the influence of (chronic) stress. Your body remains in a heightened state of readiness, which increases the risk of physical complaints.

The consequences of physical complaints due to stress

Several studies have shown that chronic stress can cause many physical complaints.

For example, a study published by the American Psychological Association found that stress is linked to immune system dysfunction. It can even go so far as to mess up your immune system and start attacking healthy cells instead of pathogens.

Another study showed that this cascade of hormones released under the influence of stress negatively affects the microglial cells. Microglial cells are nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Recent research  published in  Frontiers in Microbiology proved that stress can seriously damage the microorganisms in the gut.

If you have a stomachache due to stress , there is really more to it than just the feeling of that knot in your stomach.

What physical symptoms do you get from stress?

Complaint 1: MUS complaints

SUP stands for Somatically Unexplained Physical Complaints.

You may not be familiar with the term somatic. A general medical condition is a disease in which a person has physical complaints and symptoms.

Non-somatic means that there is no disease that causes these physical complaints.

It may not surprise you: stress is often one of the main causes of this.

You may constantly feel bloated, have incessant gastrointestinal upset, unexplained muscle and joint pain, etc.

The video below shows you very clearly where SUP complaints come from and what role stress plays in this.

Complaint 2: Muscle and joint pain

You spend a lot of time in the office. You often have back pain and sore shoulders. You wonder where these complaints come from. Your workplace is ergonomically designed and you often pay attention to your posture.

Your muscles tense up under the influence of stress hormones. If the level of these stress hormones remains high due to chronic stress, your muscles are always tense. This can cause a lot of pain in your muscles and joints.

But this is not all. If you are under stress for a long time, you can also  get muscle rheumatism due to stress , an autoimmune disease. Your immune system is fighting against yourself, as it were. This results in constant pain in your tendons, muscles and weights.

Complaint 3: Sleeping problems

You feel exhausted after a busy day at work. Yet you can’t get to sleep… you’re worrying about everything you feel responsible for.

Our bodies naturally produce normal amounts of cortisol throughout the day. These amounts peak after waking and gradually decrease during the day. If a stressful situation occurs, the cortisol level in your body increases, making you hyperalert. Nothing wrong with that…

However, under the influence of chronic stress, the cortisol level in your body remains high. Your body no longer relaxes . Not even if you feel exhausted and need sleep.

But there’s another reason why you often don’t sleep well when you’re stressed. Night sweats due to stress can also significantly disrupt your sleep and stress hormones also play a negative role in this.

Complaint 4: High blood pressure

Your blood pressure ensures that all your organs and muscles receive sufficient oxygen and energy.

If your blood pressure suddenly shoots up during a stressful situation, this is not so bad. Once the danger has passed, your blood pressure will return to normal values.

However, if your blood pressure remains high under the influence of chronic stress, this can be dangerous in the long run.

I use the term ‘in the long run’ very consciously here because the symptoms of high blood pressure are not always pronounced.

High blood pressure due to stress is therefore often referred to as a ‘silent killer’. And that’s just the tragedy. Because if high blood pressure lasts for a long time, it can damage your heart and blood vessels.

Complaint 5: Ringing in the ears

In the evening you settle down on the couch to enjoy the silence. The more you try to relax, the louder that annoying whistling sound in your ears.

Ringing in the ears due to stress can make your life hell. It’s a phantom sound that’s hard to put your finger on, but it’s constantly present.

One of the reasons could be that high blood pressure makes you hear the murmur of blood through your veins.

But the stress hormone cortisol also plays a role. This hormone affects your immune system, making you much more susceptible to ear infections and inflammation of the vestibular system .

Cortisol can also affect your nerves, causing your auditory nerve to send wrong signals to your brain.

Complaint 6: Skin disorders

Research has shown that skin conditions can be triggered and worsened by stress.

The culprit in this case is CRH or the Corticotropic Releasing Hormone. This hormone causes the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. However, CRH can also bind to receptors in the sebaceous glands. This binding provides extra sebum so that you get pimples faster.

Because your immune system works less well under the influence of cortisol, bacteria can more easily penetrate into small wounds on your skin, which can cause all kinds of skin problems due to stress.

And then there is the fact that you eat less healthy under the influence of stress. Your skin benefits much more from a healthy salad than from a greasy pizza slice.

Common Physical Complaints of Stress

Complaint 7: Burn-out complaints

Burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet the constant demands.

You become less productive. All your energy disappears until you are completely burned out. You become more and more helpless, hopeless, cynical and over time you may feel that your life has no meaning.

Burnout can also take its toll physically:

  • Your immunity is compromised and you are more likely to get sick.
  • You often have headaches and muscle and joint pain.
  • Your gastrointestinal system seems to be messed up.

Complaint 8: Stomach and intestinal problems

You may recognize it: right before a job interview you often have to go to the toilet or during a first date you suffer from stomach upset.

If you are under chronic stress you can constantly experience these annoying stomach and intestinal problems .

When your body feels that it is in danger, all the energy goes to parts of the body that can protect you. Your digestion does not have such an important function here, so not much energy goes there.

You may not know it, but your gastrointestinal tract is mainly made up of muscle tissue. Under the influence of stress, muscles tighten, including those of your gastrointestinal tract.

And then there’s the fact that cortisol causes the composition of your intestinal flora to change.

Complaint 9: Shorter lifespan

Stress can literally be the nail in your coffin.

Research at the Finnish  Institute of Health and Well-being shows that chronic stress can shorten your life by 2.8 years.

A big shock? Well done! That was my intention too.

If you think about this a bit more deeply, this is actually not so strange. When your body is constantly in fight or flight mode, all organs in your body work much harder. This also means that your organs will deteriorate faster.

High blood pressure due to stress can also have a very negative impact on your cardiovascular system, making you more susceptible to heart disease and stroke.

Add to this the devastating effect of cortisol on your immune system and you immediately understand why chronic stress shortens your lifespan.

Complaint 10: Depression

About half of the people who are depressed make too many stress hormones.

According to scientists, prolonged stress causes the hippocampus to shrink. The amygdala – the area of ​​the brain associated with fear – actually becomes overactive and enlarged.

Common Physical Complaints of Stress

People with an enlarged amygdala remember negative information better than positive information. And this can make you quite depressed.

Depression is also said to be related to serotonin levels in the brain. Many antidepressants increase serotonin levels, which is why doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines for stress-induced depression.

However, this can always only be a temporary solution! In the long run, these drugs cause even more damage to your body.

Below you will find out how you can get rid of stress forever.

Common Physical Complaints of Stress

How can you solve physical complaints caused by stress? 4 tips

Tip 1: Identify stress triggers on the basis of a diary

Write down which situations are particularly stressful for you and which physical complaints trigger them. This gives you more insight into yourself and you learn which situations are good or bad for you.

How do you go about doing this?

  • Step 1: Make a personal ‘stress scale’ from 1 to 10. At 10 you feel most stressed, at 1 you are not so stressed.
  • Step 2: For a few weeks, keep track of what you’ve been up to, who you’ve met, and if you’ve been feeling stressed.
  • Step 3: Try to find the cause of the stress and write it down in as much detail as possible.
  • Step 4: Write down all the physical symptoms you experienced in the different situations.
  • Step 5: Test your stress levels using your ‘stress scale’.
  • Step 6: Finally, write down what you did and what effect it had on the situation and on your physical complaints.

Tip 2: Analyze your stress diary

Even if keeping a journal helps you manage your stress, it’s still a good idea to do an analysis to see if there are any obvious patterns.

In particular, keep the following in mind:

  • Situations or interactions with people you found particularly stressful.
  • The most stressful situations.

Then consider what you could do to improve the situations that caused the most stress and physical complaints.

Write down ways you can handle these situations differently.

This should give you a good idea of ​​the most common causes of stress in your life.

Once you know these, you can start working on managing your stress level.

Tip 3: Do the 4-7-8 breath

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a breathing pattern developed by Dr. Andrew Weil .

The better you master this breathing technique, the calmer you will feel and the more stress resistant you become.

How do you work with this breathing technique?

  • Lie or sit in a comfortable place and assume a relaxed position.
  • Hold the tip of your tongue against your roof.
  • Keep your lips slightly apart and make a whooshing sound as you exhale through your mouth.
  • Then close your lips and breathe in slowly through your nose while counting to 4.
  • Then hold your breath for 7 counts.
  • Then exhale through your mouth for 8 counts and make another whooshing sound.
  • When you inhale again, you start a new cycle.
  • Practice this pattern for four full breaths.
Common Physical Complaints of Stress

Tip 4: Ask for the right help

Fortunately, the above symptoms are not the end. The complaints and characteristics of stress can be prevented and solved!

If you now conclude that stress and tension are the cause of your physical complaints, this does not mean that you have to live with it for the rest of your life.

By changing your way of life in the right way, you can get rid of stress complaints for good and be healed.

With the help of ‘ The Stress-Free Secret ‘ you can get out of the stress circle.

In this you will learn, among other things:


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