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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

Recognizing Stress

Dec 30, 2019 07:23AM
by Dr. Prudhvi Karumanchi

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry or nervous.

Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.

There are two main types of stress:
  • Acute stress. This is short-term stress that goes away quickly. You feel it when you slam on the brakes, have a fight with your partner or ski down a steep slope. It helps you manage dangerous situations. It also occurs when you do something new or exciting. All people have acute stress at one time or another.
  • Chronic stress. This is stress that lasts for a longer period of time. You may have chronic stress if you have money problems, an unhappy marriage or trouble at work. Any type of stress that goes on for weeks or months is chronic stress. You can become so used to chronic stress that you don't realize it is a problem. If you don't find ways to manage stress, it may lead to health problems.
Your body reacts to stress by releasing hormones. These hormones make your brain more alert, cause your muscles to tense and increase your pulse. In the short term, these reactions are good because they can help you handle the situation causing stress. This is your body's way of protecting itself.

When you have chronic stress, your body stays alert even though there is no danger. Over time, this puts you at risk for health problems, including:
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Skin problems, such as acne or eczema
  • Menstrual problems

If you already have a health condition, chronic stress can make it worse. Too much stress can cause many types of physical and emotional symptoms. Sometimes, you may not realize these symptoms are caused by stress. Here are some signs that stress may be affecting you:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Forgetfulness
  • Frequent aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Lack of energy or focus
  • Sexual problems
  • Stiff jaw or neck
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Upset stomach
  • Use of alcohol or drugs to relax
  • Weight loss or gain

Causes of stress are different for each person. You can have stress from good challenges as well as bad ones. Some common sources of stress include:

  • Getting married or divorced
  • Starting a new job
  • Death of a spouse or close family member
  • Getting laid off
  • Retiring
  • Having a baby
  • Money problems
  • Moving
  • Having a serious illness
  • Problems at work
  • Problems at home

If you feel overwhelmed by stress or if it is affecting your health, it may be time to seek professional help, especially if symptoms include any of the following:

  • You have feelings of panic, such as dizziness, rapid breathing or a racing heartbeat.
  • You are unable to work or function at home or at your job.
  • You have fears that you cannot control.
  • You are having memories of a traumatic event.

Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work, but stress may actually be the cause.

Stress symptoms can affect your body, thoughts, feelings and behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Common effects of stress are headache, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue or depression. If you are experiencing any of these stress symptoms, we invite you to schedule a free phone consultation.

Dr. Prudhvi Karumanchi, of Integrative Therapeutics, is board certified in Sleep Medicine, Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Functional Medicine. He is a Certified Energy Mastery Practitioner and a practicing Emergency Medicine Board Certified Physician who takes the complete approach to healthcare. Integrative Therapeutics is located at 8320 Stone Run Ct., Tampa. For a gratis consultation, call 813-322-6171.





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