STRESS &

HEALTH

We live in a time where perceived stress is high.

In fact, almost a quarter of Canadians older than age 15 reported that a a majority of days were highly stressful.  High stress levels that occur on a daily basis are associated with decreased life satisfaction. Not only can stress effect people’s health directly, it can also lead to poor coping mechanisms such as smoking, increased alcohol consumption and unhealthy eating habits[11].  According to a 2017 article titled “The impact of stress on body function: A review”, they state that the “the medical community needs to have a greater appreciation for the significant role that stress may play in various diseases”[12]

Stress has a great impact on our moods, behaviour and health

[13].  Stress and anxiety also have the potential to increase physical pain[14].  Stress is the cause of many disorders, and the effects are more pronounced if the stress is chronic.  In fact, “both epidemiological and controlled studies have demonstrated relationships between psychosocial stressors and disease”[15].  Stress affects the nervous system and can cause physical changes in the brain. Stress can have negative impacts on memory and learning, as well as suppression of the immune and neuroendocrine systems. It has also been proven to play a role in autoimmune disorders.  Both acute and chronic stress have negative impacts on the cardiovascular system.  Stress can affect the Gastrointestinal system leading to increased inflammation[16].  In fact, “Many inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and other ulcerative-based diseases of the GI tract, are associated with stress”[17].

 

[11] Statistics Canada.  Perceived life stress (2014). https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-625-x/2015001/article/14188-eng.htm. Date accessed: February 28, 2020.

[12] Yaribeygi, Habib et al. “The impact of stress on body function: A review.” EXCLI journal vol. 16 1057-1072. 21 Jul. 2017, doi:10.17179/excli2017-480 – page 1066

[13]Schneiderman, Neil et al. “Stress and health: psychological, behavioral, and biological determinants.” Annual review of clinical psychology vol. 1 (2005): 607-28. doi:10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.144141

[14] Ahmad, Asma Hayati, and Rahimah Zakaria. “Pain in Times of Stress.” The Malaysian journal of medical sciences : MJMS vol. 22,Spec Issue (2015): 52-61.

[15] Schneiderman, Neil et al. “Stress and health: psychological, behavioral, and biological determinants.” Annual review of clinical psychology vol. 1 (2005): 607-28. doi:10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.144141 – page 6

[16] Yaribeygi, Habib et al. “The impact of stress on body function: A review.” EXCLI journal vol. 16 1057-1072. 21 Jul. 2017, doi:10.17179/excli2017-480

[17] Yaribeygi, Habib et al. “The impact of stress on body function: A review.” EXCLI journal vol. 16 1057-1072. 21 Jul. 2017, doi:10.17179/excli2017-480 – page 1064