How Stress Impacts Hormones and Health
January 30, 2020
It’s not uncommon. Everyone experiences it. Unfortunately, it affects people without warning. Some people feel headaches or even neck pain as a result of it. Others become frazzled and frustrated when it comes around. We’re talking about stress.
We all encounter it from time to time and for various reasons. Sometimes, we become stressed because of pressure at work. Or we may experience stress as a result of family problems. Financial issues can also cause stress. But, what exactly does stress cause besides the occasional feeling of annoyance or irritation? Well, stress and hormones are actually connected. In other words, stress can actually cause signs of hormonal imbalance to occur. Let’s discuss this in more detail.
Stress in the United States
With the current state of our world, it’s no wonder people constantly feel the effects of stress. Work, family life, financial status, and much more can be extremely stressful for most people. According to a 2019 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), Americans are dealing with stress for various reasons. These include many of the events that came up in the news that year, including mass shootings, health care, sexual assaults, and economic issues. Unfortunately, stress will only continue to affect American citizens (and people all over the world), even if the causes change. The APA’s 2017 report stated that:
- 62% of Americans were stressed about money
- 61% of Americans were stressed about work
- 51% of Americans were stressed about violence and crime
- 35% of Americans were stressed about the economy
- 22% of Americans were stressed about low income and unemployment
- 45% of Americans were reported lying awake at night
- 36% of Americans reported experiencing anxiety or nervousness
- 3 out of 4 Americans said that they experienced at least one stress symptom in the last month
It’s clear that stress is quite prevalent in the United States. So, if you’ve been experiencing this issue for any reason, you are certainly not alone.
Stress and Hormones: Your Stress Level and Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
If you’ve ever heard of “fight or flight”, you know that this is your body’s response to a situation that may pose a threat. Well, the hormones that are involved in that response are the same ones that we refer to as “stress hormones”. When you feel stressed, your body releases hormones that might affect you in various ways. These hormones might cause your heart to beat faster and increase your breathing rate.
To explain in a more scientific way, the hypothalamus releases a hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) when you feel stressed. This sends a signal to your pituitary gland to release another hormone known as adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). When that hormone is released, it travels through your bloodstream, causing the release of yet another hormone called cortisol (stress hormone).
Needless to say, all of these hormonal releases occur in what you may call a domino effect. This chain of events can lead to a hormonal imbalance. Signs of hormonal imbalance might be:
- Weight gain
- Increased appetite
- Memory problems
- Digestion problems
- High blood pressure
- Weakened immune system
Stress can also lead to hair loss as hormonal imbalances often cause this to occur. Diarrhea is also a symptom that can occur because of the effects of stress and hormones.
Reducing the Negative Impact of Stress
When it comes to dealing with recurring or chronic stress, it’s important to seek professional guidance. A blood test may be recommended to help identify, diagnose, and treat your hormone levels as a result of stress. One of the most commonly used blood tests is the cortisol blood test. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can cause an increase in stress. So, getting a test to determine the level of stress you’re experiencing can help professionals to give you the guidance you need in order to lower your stress levels and reduce the negative impact of this issue in your life.
At Wellness Jar, we offer hormone therapies like Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), meant to help individuals dealing with hormonal imbalance. With this service, we aim to treat each patient’s hormonal imbalance on a personal level. This includes providing initial consultations, assessments, patient education, diagnosis, and treatment. Our hormone physician, Dr. Gasquet, is certified by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine to offer our patients the best insight and the most advanced hormonal solutions available to date.
Contact Wellness Jar Medical Spa
Reach out to us here at Wellness Jar Medical Spa to learn more about our revitalizing medical services like our Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Let us help you to take your life back from the hands of stress! Just call us today at (561) 660-8070.