Stress is a well-known phenomenon in today's society, leading to many symptoms and complaints. For many people, stress is of a chronic nature, which means that 1 in 5 working Dutch people now suffer from burn-out.
However, stress manifests itself in many other ways. In particular, severe or chronic stress can lead to a wide range of mental, physical and psychosomatic symptoms.
Do you have complaints that you suspect are caused by stress? Then compare your symptoms with the 9 most common stress-related complaints in the checklist below:
1). Fatigue due to stress
Do you always wake up tired? Then this may be due to chronic stress. Pressure and tension cause cortisol levels to rise, making it harder to relax and sleep well. These are exactly the two things you need to turn the situation around and restore the balance in your brain.
2). Sore throat due to stress
Stress is one of the biggest threats to your immune system. It triggers a fight-or-flight response in your body that focuses on survival rather than staying healthy. Sore throats and coughs are therefore common symptoms of reduced resistance due to chronic stress. Stress can also cause nausea or the feeling of a 'lump in the throat'.
3). Intestinal problems caused by stress
Our intestines contain so many neurons that scientists regard them as our second brain. In this context, it is not surprising that severe stress can have a devastating effect on the gut. Symptoms such as bloating, cramps, diarrhoea, constipation or mucus in the stool are often called irritable bowel syndrome (PDS) or spastic colon.
4). Stomach ache due to stress
Stress puts your digestion on hold and makes your muscles tense up. For some people, this can lead to a painful or nagging feeling in the abdomen. This will also reduce appetite and make breathing quick and shallow. Yoga is a good way to learn to breathe more consciously and to relax both the muscles and the brain.
5). Oesophageal complaints due to stress
In your brain and body, everything is connected to each other. As a result, when stressed you may experience discomfort in your oesophagus, in addition to gastrointestinal complaints. A digestive system that does not function properly disrupts the production of gastric acid and can lead to a burning sensation in the area of the sternum. Stress can also trigger an oesophageal spasm in some cases.
6). Thyroid problems caused by stress
Chronic stress throws your entire hormone system into disarray. As a result, the production of thyroid hormone can become disordered. This can lead to a thyroid that is too slow (hypothyroidism), but also to a thyroid that is too fast (hyperthyroidism). This can make it difficult to lose or gain weight respectively.
7). Panic attack due to stress
Sudden palpitations, dizziness, blurred vision, trembling, sweating, rapid breathing or hyperventilation can all be symptoms of a panic attack. The cause is often tension and anxiety, which have built up over a long period of time. Although the symptoms can sometimes be very frightening, they do not pose a direct health risk.
8). Heart disease caused by stress
Heart disease caused by stress is very different. Stress not only makes the heart beat faster or more irregularly, but also contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease. In addition, stress increases the risk of a heart attack, which can cause you to experience a stabbing pain, tightness or squeezing sensation. If in doubt, always consult a doctor!
9). Gallbladder complaints due to stress
In times of stress, your body consumes enormous amounts of the calming mineral magnesium. This anti-stress mineral is essential for a properly functioning gallbladder. When chronic stress leads to a magnesium deficiency, it can lead to unpleasant symptoms. These include gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder.
Are my complaints caused by stress?
Do you recognise one or more of the above symptoms? Then don't wait, ask your doctor for a consultation right away. If you already suspect that stress is the culprit, make changes to your lifestyle now. Read my 6 tips to lower your stress hormone cortisol and try my top 4 foods for stress and anxiety.