How Does Stress Affect Our Body?

Stress is one of the most common problems in the world. It is tempting to think that stress is a product of modern life, but that’s probably not the case. Sure, our ancestors might not have had 9-to-5 jobs, but they often had much harder trials to endure. Everything from daily activities to wars to famines has conditioned the human body to deal with stress. However, this natural response can be very harmful if it is allowed to go too far.

Stress Causes Many Problems

Stress is the body’s natural response to difficult situations. At its proper level, it can be something that motivates us and warns us of impending danger. However, stress is not supposed to be constant or near-constant. It is supposed to serve its purpose, and then go away.

If this does not occur, the list of problems that can be caused by excessive stress is a long one. It would be outside the scope of this article to list them all, but here are a few of the most common issues:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of libido
  • Loss of bodily coordination
  • Immune system weakness
  • Incontinence of various sorts
  • Irregular appetite

Now, let’s examine these problems in greater detail. As you can see, most of the effects are mental, but physical problems are also likely to result from excessive stress.

Irritability And Other Mood Issues

This is probably the most obvious symptom that you have too much stress in your life. According to experts, stress is one of the things that can lead a person to a higher stress level.

Overall, this symptom requires little proof because everyone knows that stress causes irritability. If you really need proof for that, you probably need to get out of the house more often.


Depression, like stress, is a part of everyone’s life. Like stress, it should not be a regular occurrence. Although this problem is sometimes treated as an inexplicable occurrence, science is moving away from this attitude. According to most modern research, depression tends to be the result of an adverse life event. This could be anything from a bad day to the loss of a loved one.


As with stress-related depression, stress-related insomnia is most often the result of a traumatizing event. Rather than being the result of general life stress, insomnia is most often triggered by something. When we look for proof of this fact, it is not lacking.

The study cited above also found that the road between stress and insomnia is a two-way street. Just as a stressful life event can make it harder to sleep at night, insomnia can also be the cause of stress. When a person is prevented from attaining regular sleep for any reason, they do not tend to be very pleasant the next morning. This is because their body and mind are responding to the minor trauma of missed sleep.

Lack Of Libido

Did you know that stress can affect your sex drive? In fact, it seems that excess stress can suppress sexual desire to a very high degree. The researchers found that there are a lot of things that can lead to stress in a relationship. Further, they found that men were more likely to lose their sexual desire as a result of stress than women. Some of this may be related to the fact that a male sexual partner is under more pressure to perform than his female counterpart, but this problem can certainly affect women as well.

Lack Of Coordination

Ataxia is a condition in which the balance and coordination of the human body are impaired. Ataxia can occur in varying degrees of severity, and for many different reasons. According to this study, a stressful environment is one of the risk factors for this condition. It seems that stress is especially connected to episodic ataxia. If you don’t know what that is, episodic ataxia is the non-chronic version of this problem. So, while stress won’t permanently affect your balance and coordination, it can harm them in the short term.

Immune System Function

Your immune system is hard-wired for crisis response. As such, it will tend to go into a hyperactive mode when the body is compromised through injury or disease. This hyperimmune response is a good thing in the short-term, as it leads the body to heal itself more quickly. Over the long haul, however, the immune system can be weakened by excessive stress, as it is not meant to run in high gear at all times.


Incontinence is the inability to hold your urine. The stresses of daily life often force us to delay our bodily functions for long periods. Now imagine how bad it would be if that control were suddenly removed. Incontinence is an embarrassing problem that many people don’t want to talk about, but researchers have not shied away from the topic. A causative link has been proven to exist between incontinence and stress.

Irregular Appetite

Stress can affect the appetite in strange ways. Under some circumstances, it can reduce your desire to eat. More often, stress prompts people to eat more. It has been theorized that this is a comfort-seeking response, and that may very well be true.


This is only a partial list of the many ways in which stress can affect your physical and mental health. Although most of our factors are mental, the physical ones are pretty large factors. An irregular appetite, for instance, can lead to all sorts of other problems. A compromised immune system can make you susceptible to any other disease or condition, so don’t underestimate the physical side of this problem.

With a little bit of relaxation and self-examination, it is perfectly possible to remove the excessive stress from your life. If you are dealing with this problem, we advise you to seek the cause now that you are more familiar with the symptoms. Only by identifying the root cause of your stress can it be dealt with and banished. For more information on this and other health topics, please follow us on Facebook.

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