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.
Signs That Prove You Are Stressed
Monday | May 15, 2017 | 4:40 PM | Last update: May 15, 2017, 5:48 PM
Did you know that stress can be a warning sign? In order to protect ourselves, our body gives off physical and emotional signs, so we are attentive to everything that goes on around us. If it werent for this physiological mechanism, our ancestors wouldnt have known what to do when they had an unexpected encounter with an animal, and today we would be unable to cope with the pressures of our day-to-day lives, for example.
The problem, however, is when such tension becomes chronic. When we get into this next phasewhich is called the resistance stagestress becomes a big health problem. Thats why its important to stay alert to the messages being sent by your body, OK? Take this tip!
Here are some of the signs of stress that affect your well-being right away:
This is one of the commonest symptoms. If you have been losing your mind more often, or if your state of mind changes easily, going from unshakeable tranquility to terrible rage in a matter of minutes, its time to seek professional help, isnt it?
This is one of the main symptoms of psychological stress. Fear, impatience, and nervous breakdown are just some of the indicators of such tension.
Stressed people usually suffer from generalized pain, caused by muscle contraction. Headaches, for example, usually get worse because of bouts of stress.
What now? What to do?
Does Acute Stress Disorder Go Away
Acute stress disorder is a short-term condition and symptoms usually go away over time. Consult with your doctor about the most effective form of treatment for ASD. Treatment may include a psychiatric evaluation, therapy, and medications. Many people with ASD are later diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder .
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Who Is This Quiz For
This short questionnaire is for anyone who wants to better understand how stressed they are when taking the test.
These questions can help you figure out your stress level and whether you need to reduce your stress level or seek the help of a healthcare or mental health professional.
If youve been wondering how stressed you are, taking a brief stress test online like this one can offer deeper insight.
Youve Been Getting More Headaches Than Usual
If youre not typically susceptible to headaches, but have been inundated with them lately, stress could be the culprit. Often called tension headaches, these pesky head-throbbers happen when your neck and scalp muscles contract as a response to stress.
Symptoms of a tension headache include:
- Pain, tightness, or pressure in the front, sides, and/or top of your head
- Slight sensitivity to light and noise
- A headache that starts late in the day
- Difficulty focusing
And if you do normally get headaches or migraines, stress can both trigger and make them worse.
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Coping With Stress And Anxiety
Learning what causes or triggers your stress and what coping techniques work for you can help reduce your anxiety and improve your daily life. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. Here are some activities you can try when you start to feel overwhelmed:
- Keep a journal.
- Exercise, and make sure you are eating healthy, regular meals.
- Stick to a sleep routine, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Avoid drinking excess caffeine such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Reach out to your friends or family members who help you cope in a positive way.
How To Relieve Stress
Before I offer you some tips on bringing your stress level down, let me warn you of one thing: your brain very well may fight you on doing any of these things. When it thinks it’s “protecting” you, slowing down may be seen as threatening. Simply notice the hesitation, remind yourself it’s OK, and give a few of these a try.
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Stress Can Disrupt Our Lives
Encountering and overcoming stressful situations is a daily occurrence for almost all of us. Whenever we experience stress, our body gets pumped up with adrenaline as our fight or flight impulse automatically kicks in. However, our mind and body can remain in a heightened state of alert long after we have overcome the stressful situation.
Although this could have increased the chances of survival for our ancestors, for us stress can be more damaging than helpful. Apart from posing various health risks, stress can even affect our mood and behavior leading to problems in our career, relationships, and personal life. By taking this stress quiz, you can find out your level of stress and start taking control of your life.
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If Left Unmanaged Stress Can Lead To Depression
Posted January 8, 2016
Feeling stressed out? Youre not alone. Seventy-two percent of adults surveyed by the American Psychological Association reported feeling stressed out at least some of the time during the past month.
Regardless of what youre stressing about, stress can quickly turn into a problem when it builds and starts to cause wear and tear on your bodyand your overall mental state. In fact, if left unmanaged stress can actually lead to depression.
Chronic stress leads to physical changes in your brain and body, changes in the way youre thinking, and ultimately to changes in the way youre behaving.
Stressed out people are more likely to engage in unhelpful and unhealthy behaviors like overeating, smoking, drinking, and dropping out of important activities like exercising and socializing. And all of this can increase the likelihood that your stress turns into depression.
So how can you tell if youre just stressed out or are suffering from depression? Essentially the answer lies in the severity and the duration of your symptoms.
Feeling stressed out is usually associated with feeling overwhelmed or under pressure. As you know, I believe the term stressed out is a generalization we use to really just say that were having a hard time coping with distressing emotions such as fear or sadness.
Feeling sad and hopeless
Lack of energy, enthusiasm and motivation
Withdrawing from other people
Eating more or less than usual
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Obesity And Disordered Eating
Some people binge or stress eat as a result of high stress levels rather than practice intuitive eating. When this happens over longer periods of time, it can result in obesity, related health conditions, and eating disorders.
Other people experiencing chronic stress eat less, which can result in undernourishment.
They Never Greet You First
Someone who finds you to be a stressor in their life is not going to go out of their way to initiate conversation with you. If you see them in the hallway and they pass by without so much as a hello, they’re most likely avoiding having to get stuck in a conversation with you because they’re worried it will add unnecessary anxiety to their day.
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They Make An Excuse To Leave When You Come Around
If you notice that people have a tendency to leave the room when you enter, it may be because they are actively avoiding a stressful situationâor, in other words, interacting with you. After all, removing stressors from your life can release tension, eliminate the need bad coping mechanisms, and improve physical and emotional symptomsâso who can blame them, really?
Is It Stress Or Anxiety
Life can be stressfulyou may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events , or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.
What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.
If that anxiety doesnt go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression. Read more about anxiety disorders.
So, how do you know when to seek help?
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Importance Of Recognizing Stress Symptoms
Its important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are actually getting out of control. Stress is deceptive. It has its way of creeping up on you so you get used to it and you start to feel a certain sense of familiarity with it. If you are not mindful of your body, you may just be surprised to see that it has already taken its toll on you and has already caused a great deal of harm.
For instance, people who are constantly exposed to high levels of stress may think that they have grown accustomed to the pressure and high surge of adrenaline, but the truth is, there is no such thing as getting used to stress. When you thrive on stress, its just difficult for you to discern the symptoms of stress but this does not mean that your body is not responding to stress. Eventually, something within you will malfunction.
It is important to recognize stress before it actually develops into a serious health problem. And while stress affects different people in many different ways, there are certain factors and symptoms that are common among the general population.
Hair Loss Has Become A Real Problem
If youre finding more strands of hair in the drain or in your brush it could be a telltale sign of stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three types of hair loss associated with stress: telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and trichotillomania.
The first, telogen effluvium, can occur after significant stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into what is known as resting phase. That means the hair is pushed out before completing its growth cycle. When this happens, affected hairs might fall out suddenly when you’re combing or washing your hair.
Meanwhile, alopecia areata can be caused by a variety of things, the Mayo Clinic explained, including severe stress. When alopecia areata occurs, the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, which causes hair loss.
And the last is Trichotillomania, which occurs when a person has an irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, the Mayo Clinic said.
Importantly, the Mayo Clinic noted, hair loss doesnt need to be permanent. Again, using stress mitigation techniques like meditation can help restore your head of hair in no time.
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Youre Simply Not Enjoying The Things You Used To
One of the many emotional symptoms of stress is a general feeling of malaise. If youre dreading doing things you once lovedlike working out, spending time with friends, or simply talking a walknot only you could you be stressed, but you could also be suffering from depression.
Depression is precipitated by long-term, chronic exposure to stress, researchers published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health wrote in a 2012 study. As the researchers noted, while experiencing high-stress situations, the body may again release stress hormones and that could inhibit a persons ability to experience joy in daily activities.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, its time to talk to a health professional. That way, you have someone on your side to help you find ways to de-stress and get back to living your life your way.
Experiment With Options That Soothe Your System
It may take some trial and error but finding stress reduction techniques that work for you can be helpful for years to come. Some things to try: gentle exercise , Epsom salt baths, breathing exercises like meditation, and even mindless activities like coloring or crafts. As you try things, keep a list of what works so you can access it again when you need it.
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They Look At Their Phone While You’re Talking
Have you ever noticed someone looking at their phone while you try to talk to them? Sure, this might be rude, but it says just as much about you as it does about them. Usually this indicates that someone is uncomfortable with or stressed out by the conversation at hand. Instead of taking this behavior as a slight towards you, use it as an opportunity to evaluate whether or not you are making the people around you uncomfortable.
How Do I Know If I’m Too Stressed
The key to stress management is finding the right balance between productive stress and stress that makes you feel overwhelmed and unproductive.
You can look out for physical signs of stress as well. Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released by your body and cause your heart to beat faster and your breathing to quicken. Your stomach may feel uneasy, your muscles may tense up and your skin can become sensitive.
All of these are signs that your body is preparing for a fight or flight situation. These feelings should pass soon after the stressful situation is over. If they dont pass, it may be a sign that you are too stressed.
The point where stress is no longer productive is different for everyone, but you might look out for the following clues:
- feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope
- feeling on edge or unable to stop worrying
- changes in sleep patterns, feeling exhausted
Sometimes internal stress can be brought on by anxiety, depression or self-criticism. Talking negatively about yourself and feeling as though you are never living up to your own or others expectations can be very stressful and can strain your mental and physical health.
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That Headache Just Wont Go Away
Have throbbing pain in your head all day? It could be a stress-induced headache or migraine.
Headaches are more likely to occur when you’re stressed, the Mayo Clinic explained. Stress is a common trigger of tension-type headaches and migraine, and can trigger other types of headaches or make them worse.
What can you do about them? Not much, according to the Mayo Clinic, other than live a less stressful life. But, if your headache is sudden, severe, accompanied by a fever or double vision, or is experienced after a head injury, head to the hospital immediately.
Youve Become Overly Emotional
Lucie Hemmen, Ph.D, a psychologist in Santa Cruz, CA explains, When youre super-stressed, the brain stem the primitive part of your brain takes over, and the part that anticipates outcomes goes dark. This explains why being stressed will cause you to literally cry over spilled milk, or fly into a rage if someone honks their horn at you. Remember when you were a kid and would stay up way too late, and catch a case of the giggles? Same concept. Your body was so stressed out from exhaustion that even the slightest thing set you off, albeit in a silly way. When youre an adult, and your stress causes you to flip someone off for bumping into you on the subway, its not so funny.
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Psychiatric Disorders Causing Itch
Mental health disorders can cause itching. This is also known as psychogenic itch. People who are more likely to have stress itching are people who suffer from depression, OCD, and schizophrenia, Rosen says. This is because these mental health conditions often cause people to feel extremely anxious and stressed out, which can lead to them scratching their skin excessively.
When anxiety kicks in, your bodys stress response can go into overdrive. This can affect your nervous system and cause sensory symptoms like burning or itching of the skin, with or without visible signs, Factor says. This could lead to skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, or hives. You can experience this sensation anywhere on your skin, including your arms, legs, face, and scalp.