Stress doesn’t just rattle your nerves and put you on edge. The effects of stress can include forgetfulness, sexual problems, insomnia, and hair loss.
When most of us think of the physical effects of stress, our minds jump to common complaints like headaches and upset stomachs.
Stress, however, can affect many aspects of physical and mental health, ranging from hair, teeth, and skin to memory and concentration skills, and even how well we sleep. The good news is while these problems may seem serious, stress relief can lead to real improvements in your overall health and well-being.
Excessive stress and anxiety can lead to reduced immunity and an increased chance of getting sick. This link between stress and the body’s ability to fight disease may go all the way back to childhood. Researchers have found that adolescents who were abused or experienced other, intensely stressful situations as children were less able to ward off certain infections even years later. It’s crucial to keep daily stress under control as much as possible to offset the effects of past stress and encourage good health in the present.
Loss Of Focus
Bad news for stressed-out students cramming for exams — it turns out that being under pressure can affect how well our brains work. Specifically, one small study showed that medical students studying for board exams had more trouble focusing their attention than others who were not stressed. The good news? A month after the stressful period was over, the stressed group’s mental skills returned to normal.
The effects of stress can extend to the bedroom. While most men may experience erectile dysfunction from time to time, when it happens frequently, its underlying cause should be investigated. Causes of erectile dysfunction can include diabetes, high blood pressure, side effects of certain medications, and chronic stress. Stress can also contribute to a loss of sexual desire in both men and women.
Stress-Induced Hair Loss
Some amount of hair loss is normal — strands fall out over time and get replaced by new ones. However, when you’re under physical or emotional stress the normal shedding of 100 or so hairs a day can speed up to the point where half to three-quarters of your hair can fall out. Known as telogen effluvium, this diffuse and often stress-induced hair loss may not happen right away. In fact, it may take weeks or months after the stressful event for the hair to actually shed. Fortunately, after six to eight months this type of hair loss often improves.