Thursday, February 2, 2023

How Do I Know If I Have Chronic Stress

You Answered Yes To Question

You Know You have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when…

If you answered No to Question 1, you most likely do not have PTSD. If you have concerns about anxiety, stress, depression, or other mental health issues, speak with a licensed professional.

Based on the answers you provided, it is unlikely you meet the criteria for PTSD. However, if you are struggling with the symptoms you are experiencing, you are encouraged to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

Based on the answers you provided, it is possible you meet the criteria for PTSD. If you are struggling to cope with the symptoms you identified, you are encouraged to seek additional assessment from a qualified mental health professional.

Based on your answers, it is likely you meet the criteria for PTSD. If these are symptoms you have been experiencing for longer than 6 months you are strongly encouraged to seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional.

Some resources to find a licensed professional include:


Effects On The Entire Body

Chronic stress can also wreak havoc on the digestive system. For instance, it can cause colitis or worsen inflammatory bowel disease. This is because chronic stress disturbs the microbiome in the gut.

In addition to the above effects, chronic stress can also have an impact on the entire body, including your nervous system, muscles, immune system, and hormones.

What Is The Actual Impact Of Chronic Stress On Health

When considering the numerous cellular targets of the chemical mediators of stress, one would expect that protracted, stress-dependent neuroendocrine dysregulation may damage directly or through functional circuits practically all organs and tissues. To clarify this assumption and identify the biochemical pathways significantly impaired by chronic stress to the extent of producing illness, researchers have on one hand searched for putative morphological tissue alterations associated with stress, and on the other analyzed the molecular mechanisms of action of the main stress hormones.

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Signs Its Time To Seek Help

Even with a good self-management plan, sometimes you may need more support. A mental health professional can be a great resource, but theyre particularly important to see more urgently if you have thoughts of self-harm or feel drawn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Seek help right away if you have suicidal thoughts. Call your healthcare provider or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK . Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room.

Remember: Chronic stress is something many people experience, but it doesnt mean you have to slog through it, and certainly not alone. The sooner you get care and prioritize your own healing, the sooner you can feel more like yourself.


  • National Institutes of Health. Stress and Your Health. Available at: . Accessed September 25, 2020.
  • American Psychological Association. Stress in the Time of COVID-19. Available at: . Accessed September 25, 2020.
  • Neurological Research. Liu M-Y, Li N, Li WA, Khan H. Association Between Psychosocial Stress and Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. 2017 39:573-580. doi:10.1080/01616412.2017.1317904. Accessed September 25, 2020.
  • What Are The Consequences Of Long

    5 Warning Signs Of Chronic Anxiety You Should Never Ignore

    A little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:

    • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
    • Obesity and other eating disorders
    • Menstrual problems
    • Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
    • Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
    • Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon

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    Effects Of Chronic Stress On Hematopoietic Stem Cells In Cardiovascular Diseases

    Heidt and colleagues demonstrated how stress increases the levels of circulating inflammatory leukocytes by direct stimulation of hematopoietic stem cell proliferation . In this new pathway, stress induces the release of noradrenaline by sympathetic nerve fibers targeting blood vessels in the bone marrow of mice. The catecholamine then acts on mesenchymal stem cells located in the hematopoietic niche, which express high levels of the 3 adrenergic receptors. One of the consequences of this interaction is the downregulation of the chemokine CXCL12, a known target of noradrenaline, which is normally produced by several types of niche cells, including mesenchymal stem cells. This releases the inhibition typically exerted by CXCL12 on the proliferation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and on leukocyte migration, thus promoting cell division and leukocyte mobilization into the bloodstream.

    Appetite Changes And Weight Gain

    Changes in appetite are common during times of stress.

    When you feel stressed out, you may find yourself with no appetite at all or overeating without noticing.

    One small 2006 study of 272 female college students found that 81 percent reported that they experienced changes in appetite when they were stressed out, with 62 percent stating they had an increase in appetite .

    Changes in appetite may also cause fluctuations in weight during stressful periods. For example, a study involving 1,355 people in the United States found that stress was associated with weight gain in adults already living with extra weight .

    A third study from 2017 found that individuals with higher cortisol and insulin levels and higher levels of chronic stress were more likely to gain weight in the future . However, the study was limited in the scope of research in that participants were predominantly white females.

    While these studies show an association between stress and changes in appetite or weight, more studies are needed to understand other possible factors are involved and how stress impacts different people.

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    Chronic Vs Acute Stress

    We often think about stress as being inherently bad and that stress should be avoided at all costs, says Tewari. However, low levels of stress are healthy for our systems and can be the impetus for motivation and action. Consider the responsibility of presenting information during a work meeting, for instance. The stress of public speaking may drive you to plan, prepare and practice for the job ahead, ultimately serving in your best interest, Tewari says.

    These sporadic moments of tension are what experts often refer to as acute stress. This type of stress is short-lived and situational, brought on by high pressure moments, such as a narrowly averted accident or a public performance.

    Chronic stress, on the other hand, isnt tied to a particular moment, says P. Priyanka, M.D., a psychiatrist and medical director at Community Psychiatry in Fresno, California. She attributes chronic stress to either a significant persistent problem or a combination of interchangeable problems over a period of time.

    Chronic stress is something that lasts much longer than a month, says Dr. Priyanka. For example, take the person who lost their job and faced acute stress. If this person is not able to find another job and becomes homeless, they are facing chronic stress that goes beyond the first stressful event.

    Help Is Available For Stress

    6 Signs You May Have Anxiety and Not Even Know It

    Stress is a part of life. What matters most is how you handle it. The best thing you can do to prevent stress overload and the health consequences that come with it is to know your stress symptoms.

    If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed by stress, talk to your doctor. Many symptoms of stress can also be signs of other health problems. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and rule out other conditions. If stress is to blame, your doctor can recommend a therapist or counselor to help you better handle your stress.

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    If You Are Striving To Keep Yourself Healthy For Now And Many Years To Come And You Want To Know What Single Thing You Should Be Paying Attention To More Than Anything Else It Is This: Inflammation

    The reason inflammation is so critical is that it has been found to be a player in almost every chronic disease, which affects approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of the United States. And if inflammation hasnt been shown to be associated with a chronic disease, its probably just because no one has looked for it.

    You probably wouldnt be surprised to hear that inflammation is a major part of autoimmune diseases since they are all directly caused by the immune system. Maybe youve also already heard that the white blood cells that sneak into the walls of your arteries are major contributors to cardiovascular disease, meaning its not just about cholesterol build-upbut could be signs of chronic inflammation. Perhaps you also know that cancer tends to form in areas that are chronically inflamed. But you might not have expected inflammation to be a component of osteoarthritis, a disease that scientists thought was just from the wear and tear of the bones, maybe too much tackle football or tennis. Inflammation even plays a role in hypertension and depression.

    How Professional Treatment Helps Most People With Anxiety Disorders

    In general, stress is a response to a difficult or alarming situation, whereas anxiety tends to be excessive and may be triggered by events that havent happened. Often, people with anxiety disorders begin to avoid situations that make them fearful, or they may develop panic attacks.

    People who struggle with anxiety have a tendency to ruminate or worry excessively about things, accompanied by physical sensations like butterflies in the stomach or heart palpitations, says Dr. Dossett. Of course, these things can happen with stress, too, which is why its important to see a doctor if symptoms persist.

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    What Are The Physical Symptoms Of Chronic Stress

    • Fatigue
    • Becoming easily agitated or irritable
    • Emotional avoidance
    • Feeling overwhelmed or out of control

    These symptoms can carry over and begin affecting our personal lives, including negatively impacting what brings us joy. Relationships may suffer as well as hobbies, interests, community engagement and work performance. Additionally, larger health issues may arise like hypertension, joint pain, high cholesterol and even heart attack.

    Do Women React To Stress Differently Than Men Do

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    Yes, studies show that women are more likely than men to experience symptoms of stress. Women who are stressed are more likely than men who are stressed to experience depression and anxiety.21 Experts do not fully know the reason for the differences, but it may be related to how mens and womens bodies process stress hormones. Long-term stress especially is more likely to cause problems with moods and anxiety in women.22

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    Do Men And Women Experience Stress Differently

    Contrary to popular belief that women are more stressed-out and anxious than men, doctors say that there is no clear evidence that there is a gender difference when it comes to stress. I do think that women may be more likely to seek out help, says Dr. Gupta.

    Yet the APA survey suggests that women are more likely to report feeling stressed than are men. Women say they have experienced a slight increase in their stress levels in the past year: On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being little or no stress and 10 being a great deal of stress, women went from 5.0 in 2016 to 5.1 in 2017 in contrast, mens stress dipped, from 4.6 in 2016 to 4.4 in 2017. The survey also found that men and women get stressed out by different things. Women are likelier to say they feel stress about hate crimes, wars and conflicts, and terrorism than men do.

    Whatever symptoms of stress youre feeling or what may be causing them, its important to find stress relief to prevent both short- and long-term health problems related to stress. Find out how to do that here.

    Whats At The Root Of Chronic Inflammation

    An imbalanced immune system contributes to chronic inflammation by sending your body misdirected signals that inflammation is still needed long after the initial reason has passed.

    Studies have demonstrated that women with chronic inflammation have increased levels of certain pro-inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein , IFN-gamma, IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-alpha. While these same markers are also elevated during an acute reaction, if the immune system is well-balanced, the inflammatory reaction will turn off as it should when the job is done. If the inflammation continues, your body will stay constantly on the defensive and that can lead to damaging effects on your health:

    • Inflammation drains your bodys energy and resources and leaves it vulnerable.
    • Inflammatory cells are very powerful and produce a constant, low-grade flow of strong inflammatory markers into the blood stream that can cause damage with time.
    • Once the balance is disrupted, the immune systems inflammatory hyperactivity can self-perpetuate and quickly spiral into disease.

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    Physical Signs Of Stress

    While everyone experiences and responds to stress in different ways, there are many common general symptoms that can indicate stress. Awareness is the first valuable step toward getting a handle on stress. Some of these include the following:

    • Headache
    • Clenched jaws and grinding teeth
    • Low energy and fatigue
    • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
    • Angry outbursts
    • Avoiding social situations
    • Exercising less

    Its important to recognize that stress left unchecked can cause or exacerbate more serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, stomach ulcers, diabetes, and mental disorders like depression or anxiety.

    Be sure to seek emergency help if you have suicidal thoughts or if you experience chest pain especially if its during exercise or accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating or pain in your shoulder or arm. These may be signs of a heart attack that shouldnt be mistaken for stress alone without being evaluated further.

    Chronic Stress Is A Chronic Problem Here’s How To Cope

    Dr James Wilson – How do I know I have adrenal fatigue?

    Do you feel like you have an invisible barrier stopping you from achieving your goals?

    Chronic stress can often feel like that. Its not always easy to spot people suffering from chronic stress, but its effects are pervasive.

    Lets explore what chronic stress means, how it can affect you, and how you can treat it.

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    What Else Could It Be

    Many people who have ME/CFS have other conditions, too. If you get treated for those, it might also improve your chronic fatigue.

    ME/CFS can look a lot like âmonoâ , Lyme disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, sleep disorders, or depression. It affects about 2.5 million Americans, but experts believe only about 20% are diagnosed.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Inflammation

    Chronic inflammation generates a wide range of symptoms. In my practice, the most common symptoms I see are:

    • Pain: generalized pain, in muscles and joints with associated intermittent swelling and stiffness. Usually dull and achy in nature.
    • Fatigue: fatigue is constant, with associated insomnia or poor quality sleep.
    • Depression and anxiety: inflammatory cells and molecules within the central nervous system can disrupt the metabolism of mood-related neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Its thought that this imbalance can potentially lead to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
    • Gastrointestinal issues: abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, gas and acid reflux.

    As these symptoms can overlap with other health issues, be sure to talk with your doctor to see if your symptoms stem from chronic inflammation.

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    Stress Less With Help From Sauk Prairie Healthcare

    Men and women handle stress differently. As a guy, you might not love the idea of talking about your feelings, and maybe you think youre handling it just fine. But if youre experiencing symptoms of stress, dont just tough it out. Its important to let your primary care doctor know whats going on, especially if youre not sure your symptoms are stress-related or your attempts to lower your stress havent given you relief. We understand where youre coming from and will help you find the coping tools that work for you. Give us a call to set up an appointment.

    Insulin Resistance And Type Ii Diabetes

    5 Clues You Have Chronic Anxiety

    Insulin is a hormone that carries a message that lowers blood sugar levels and helps us to store energy for future use.

    The receivers of messages in our body are called receptors. In type II diabetes, the message carried by insulin is not understood by the receptors and blood sugar levels remain high.

    Normally, when cortisol levels rise, insulin secretion stops. After all, we need all the energy we can get! Sugar fuels our muscles and brain. So with lower levels of insulin, blood sugar levels can remain high enough to provide us with the energy we need. Our stress response system has a fail-safe just in case we still have insulin kicking around. Stress hormones make sure that our cells do not respond to any remaining insulin in our system.

    If we are chronically stressed, then our insulin levels can remain low and our blood sugar levels can remain high. On top of that, our cells can become almost totally resistant to insulin.

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    How Is Chronic Stress Treated

    Patients with chronic stress often receive a treatment plan that targets their specific symptoms. A patient with digestive issues rooted in stress could go on medication, change his or her diet and also focus on stress reduction. As Sinha says, Its better to address these earlier, as a preventative approach.

    Yale Medicines stress management recommendations include:

    • Exercising
    • Making time for leisure activities
    • Building stress reduction skills
    • Learning and practicing mindfulness

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