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Seven Ways in Which Too Much Unrelenting Stress Can Kill You

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RELATED TAGS:
blood pressure  cancer  cortisol  death  depression  diabetes  disease  gym  health  healthy weight  heart  heart attack  heart disease  immune system  insulin  liver  stress  weight gain 
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By Elisabeth Kuhn

Maybe this sounds a little overdramatic, but unfortunately the reality is that excessive, untreated stress can actually kill you. When you're stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol, which is designed to get your rear in gear as part of the fight-or-flight mechanism. However, this hormone is meant to be released only occasionally in small doses -- when stress causes it to be secreted for long periods of time, the body reacts with a variety of different health consequences.

The following are seven of the major health effects caused by stress. If you're experiencing any of these conditions and believe they may be linked to stress, seek medical counseling as soon as possible:

1. Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when the body produces too little insulin to process all the sugars in your body. As these sugars build up, you may experience a number of health problems including thirst, headaches and weight loss. Over time, the condition can cause complications ranging from heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, nerve damage, diabetic neuropathy, skin conditions, and gastrointestinal problems.

2. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is often referred to as a "silent killer" because there are few actual symptoms that present with the disease. High levels of stress can bring on this condition, which can result in an aneurysm, coronary heart disease, enlarged heart, damage to the brain and even heart attack. If that isn't a good enough reason to learn to manage your stress - I don't know what is!

3. Weight Gain

People under high levels of stress often experience fluctuations in weight - as anyone who's ever taken comfort in candy bars knows all too well. However, if your weight gain gets out of control, you could be putting yourself at risk for developing cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, liver disease and gallbladder disease. If you notice that you've put on a few pounds, try hitting the gym - exercise is also a natural stress reliever.

 
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