How Does Stress Affect Pregnancy
It is normal to feel stressed during pregnancy. Your body and your hormones are changing, and you may worry about your baby and the changes he or she will bring to your life. But too much stress during pregnancy can hurt you and your babys health.
Stress during pregnancy can make normal pregnancy discomforts, like trouble sleeping and body aches, even worse. It can also lead to more serious problems, such as:
- Depression. Depression during pregnancy or after birth can affect your babys development. .
- Problems eating . Women who are or who gain too much weight during pregnancy are at risk for , including premature delivery and . Get a personalized recommendation on how much weight to gain during pregnancy.
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy puts you at risk of a serious condition called , premature delivery, and having a low-birth-weight infant .
Talk to your doctor about your stress, and to help manage your stress. Learn about too.
When To See Your Gp About Your Stress Levels
If you’ve tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should go to see your GP. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
If your stress is causing serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or further tests.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Stress
Stress can cause many different symptoms. It might affect how you feel physically and mentally, and also how you behave.
“The physical warning signs of stress include aches and pains in the shoulders, neck and back, headaches, sleeping difficulties and dizziness,” says Nippoda. You may also experience trembling, sweating, a heavy feeling in the chest, breathing difficulties, an increased heart rate and an upset stomach.
There are also emotional warning signs of stress. You may feel anxious, just in general or about specific concerns such as your finances or work. You may also experience panic attacks, a severe attack of anxiety and fear which occurs suddenly, often without warning.
“Emotional warning signs of stress also include depression, a lack of concentration, irritability and mood swings,” Nippoda says. You may also find yourself forgetting things or feeling overwhelmed.
You may find your behaviour changes when you are stressed, too. Even though you’re normally calm, you may find yourself being snappy with others, sleeping too much or too little, changing your eating habits or avoiding certain places or people. Stress can also make you want to adopt unhealthy habits, like smoking or drinking more than usual.
The signs of burnout can be similar to stress. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when an individual feels overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands.
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Signs Symptoms And Diagnosis
Stress that is not controlled and continues for a long period of time can cause a number of psychological and physical symptoms. Psychological symptoms of stress can include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Recurrent colds and flu .
If you think that stress may be the cause of psychological or physical symptoms, talk with your doctor. They will discuss your medical history and circumstances, causes of stress that may be present in your life, and your ways of dealing with stress. Your doctor will also aim to rule out any other physical or mental illness that may be the cause of the symptoms.
Recognising Your Stress Triggers
If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers.
Things you might want to write down include:
- the date, time and place of a stressful episode
- what you were doing
- a stress rating
You can use the diary to:
- work out what triggers your stress
- work out how you operate under pressure
- develop better coping mechanisms
Doctors sometimes recommend keeping a stress diary to help them diagnose stress.
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Signs Of Stress Overload
People who are experiencing stress overload may notice some of the following signs:
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- A feeling of being constantly pressured, hassled and hurried
- Irritability and moodiness
- Physical symptoms, such as stomach problems, headaches, or even chest pain
- Allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma
- Problems sleeping
- Drinking too much, smoking, overeating or doing drugs
- Sadness or depression
Everyone experiences stress a little differently. Some people become angry and act out their stress or take it out on others. Some people internalize it and develop eating disorders or substance abuse problems. And some people who have a chronic illness may find that the symptoms of their illness flare up under an overload of stress.
The Most Common Emotional And Cognitive Symptoms Of Short
When youre under a lot of stress, you may find that youre more emotional than usual or crankier. Here are some signs to look for:
- Anxiety or nervousness in the American Psychological Associations 2017 Stress in America survey, 36 percent of people report that stress makes them feel more nervous or anxious.
- Anger or irritability in the APA survey, 35 percent of people report this.
- Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
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Do Women React To Stress Differently Than Men Do
Yes, studies show that women are more likely than men to experience . Women who are stressed are more likely than men who are stressed to experience depression and anxiety. 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.
Signs And Symptoms Of Stress
Health Check Certified By: Greg Dorter, RP
We all get stressed from time to time which can cause moments of anxiety and worry. While a little bit of stress is normal, being stressed on a regular basis can have a physical impact, particularly if the stress is chronic. When a person is chronically stressed, it can have a major impact on their everyday life, including overall health and well-being.
There are some common emotional and physical symptoms of stress, like panic attacks and headaches, but also a lot of uncommon symptoms that you might be experiencing and arent even aware that they are related to stress. Be on the lookout for these 15 surprising signs and symptoms of stress
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Warning Signs And Risk Factors For Children And Teens
Children are often the most vulnerable of those impacted during and after a disaster. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a growing body of research has established that children as young as infancy may be affected by events that threaten their safety or the safety of their parents or caregivers.
Disasters are unfamiliar events that are not easily understood by children, who can find them emotionally confusing and frightening. During the time of turmoil, they may be left with a person unfamiliar to them and provided with limited information. Some warning signs of distress in children ages 6 to 11 include:
- Withdrawing from playgroups and friends
- Competing more for the attention of parents and teachers
- Being unwilling to leave home
- Being less interested in schoolwork
- Becoming aggressive
- Having added conflict with peers or parents
- Having difficulty concentrating
For teens, the impact of disasters varies depending on how much of a disruption the disaster causes their family or community. Teens ages 12 to 18 are likely to have physical complaints when under stress or be less interested in schoolwork, chores, or other responsibilities.
Although some teens may compete vigorously for attention from parents and teachers after a disaster, they also may:
- Become withdrawn
- Experiment with high-risk behaviors such as underage drinking or prescription drug misuse and abuse
Children and teens most at risk for emotional distress include those who:
Decreased Energy And Insomnia
Chronic fatigue and can also be caused by prolonged stress.
For example, one study of 2,483 people found that fatigue was strongly associated with increased stress levels .
Stress may also disrupt sleep and cause insomnia, which can lead to low energy.
One small study found that higher levels of work-related stress were associated with increased sleepiness and restlessness at bedtime .
Another study of 2,316 participants showed that experiencing a higher number of stressful events was significantly associated with an increased risk of insomnia .
These studies show an association, but they dont account for other factors that may have played a role. Further research is needed to determine if stress can directly cause decreased energy levels.
Other factors that may play a role in decreased energy levels include dehydration, low blood sugar, a poor diet or an underactive thyroid.
Summary Stress is associated with fatigue and disruptions in sleep, which may result in decreased energy levels.
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Try A Relaxing Activity
For those who experience chronic stress, scheduling relaxing activities regularly may help them manage and control it.
What Are Some Symptoms Of Stress
Stress affects everyone differently. Some ways that chronic or long-term stress affects women include:
- Pain, including back pain
- Acne and other skin problems, like rashes or hives
- Feeling like you have no control
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Being easily angered
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Less interest in sex than usual
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How Is Stress Diagnosed
Stress is subjective not measurable with tests. Only the person experiencing it can determine whether it’s present and how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.
If you have chronic stress, your healthcare provider can evaluate symptoms that result from stress. For example, high blood pressure can be diagnosed and treated.
Ways On How To Cope With Daily Stress And Frustrations
All of us experience daily stress and frustrations in our lives. But we have different kinds of ways and techniques in handling them, either mitigating or exacerbating them. Experts recommend that it is integral to maintain healthy coping strategies to facilitate positive stress management techniques such as meditation, journaling, and hobbies. In this section, we provide you with some simple ways on how to cope with daily stress and frustrations:
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What Makes Us Stressed
Many things that can lead to stress: bereavement, divorce or separation, losing a job or unexpected money problems. Work-related stress can also have a negative impact on your mental health. People affected by work-related stress lose an average of 24 days of work due to ill health.
Even positive life changes, such as moving to a bigger house, gaining a job promotion or going on holiday can be sources of stress. If you feel stressed in these situations you may struggle to understand why or be unwilling to share your feelings with others.
Bizarre And Recurring Dreams
Vivid and bizarre dreams, or even experiencing the same dreams night after night is a possible sign of stress. Whether you enjoy or easily tolerate weird dreams, its important to examine any of the potential reasons behind them.
Recurring dreams can take a toll on you mentallyespecially if theyre upsettingbut even if they arent. Bizarre dreams can make you feel tired and on edge, which ultimately impact other areas of your life, like work and family. If youve started dreaming a lot, and if theyre bizarre and/or recurring dreams, take stock of any life changes or added stress to see if theres a trigger.
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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Cholesterol
Whether or not youre stressed, its smart to see your primary care physician once a year for a complete exam, including a check of blood pressure, heart rate, weight, cholesterol, and thyroid hormones. And dont let a doctor brush off your stress.
When women have heart palpitations, doctors are more likely to think that theyre either experiencing stress or anxiety, or that theyre hysterical in some way. As a result, women tend to be underdiagnosed with heart disease, says Dr. Haythe. And this happens despite the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. A good rule of thumb: If unusual symptoms persist for more than a week or two, see your physician.
Tips For Coping With Stress
Regular exercise can ease stress. It can stop negative thoughts and worries. Make it fun. Involve friends and family and play a game of touch football. Sweat the stress away.
Connect with others.
Suppose you are feeling overwhelmed by stress talk to someone. Talking about it takes away its power. Talking to a friend and seeing a smile, calms the nervous system.
Engage your senses.
A fast way to relieve stress is by alerting another one of your senses. Maybe it is a happy song or the smell of fresh coffee. Everyone responds differently, so experiment to find what works.
Stress is going to happen. But you can control how it affects you. Yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques activate relaxation responses. Learning to relax can reduce how you respond to stress.
Your mood is affected by the food you eat. When you are in a bad mood, stress is difficult to handle. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein can help cope with stress.
Get lots of rest.
A good nights sleep is crucial to thinking and coping with the day. But, chronic stress can interfere with sleep. Using a combination of the above tips can help you get a good nights sleep.
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What Are Some Ways To Prevent Stress
Many daily strategies can help you keep stress at bay:
- Try relaxation activities, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. Programs are available online, in smartphone apps, and at many gyms and community centers.
- Take good care of your body each day. Eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep help your body handle stress much better.
- Stay positive and practice gratitude, acknowledging the good parts of your day or life.
- Accept that you cant control everything. Find ways to let go of worry about situations you cannot change.
- Learn to say no to additional responsibilities when you are too busy or stressed.
- Stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member or neighbor can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesnt become overwhelming.
Sexuality And Reproductive System
Stress is exhausting for both the body and mind. Its not unusual to lose your desire when youre under constant stress. While short-term stress may cause men to produce more of the male hormone testosterone, this effect doesnt last.
If stress continues for a long time, a mans testosterone levels can begin to drop. This can interfere with sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may also increase risk of infection for male reproductive organs like the prostate and testes.
For women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle. It can lead to irregular, heavier, or more painful periods. Chronic stress can also magnify the physical symptoms of menopause.
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The Effects Of Stress On Your Health
Stress can lead to a variety of health issues. It can also worsen existing health issues. These health issues can include:
- Cognitive issues
- Reproductive issues
Stress not only affects physical health but mental health as well. But what are the 5 emotional signs of stress? Learn the signs that stress is taking its toll.
Acne And Other Skin Conditions
Sebum production might play an important role in acne in adolescents. It is currently unclear whether or not psychological stress increases sebum production, which might connect stress to increased or worsened acne.
Researchers followed a group of secondary school students throughout the year. Stress levels were higher during the exam period and lower in the summer. Students presented with more severe acne during stressful times, but the researchers did not notice an increase in sebum production.
Although acne may worsen with stress, researchers have not yet determined the cause.
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Make Relaxation A Part Of Your Daily Routine
Relaxation, breathing methods and meditation can be very useful when you have noticed that you are beginning to feel stressed.
“There are many ways to relax even without using specific techniques,” says Nippoda. “For example, soaking in a bath full of scented bubbles, or listening to music that you can relax to.
“If you would like to learn how to breathe or meditate, you can learn online,” she adds. “Everybody has different tastes. Use trial and error to find what works for you.”
How To Handle Stress
The first step in handling stress is to decide youre not just going to deal with or tough through it. Its important to recognize when youre stressed. Stress indicates a boundary or limit in your physical or mental/emotional abilities that will negatively impact your overall wellness if continually breached. Admitting and seeking out answers and solutions to stress will help you overcome it far more than ignoring it. A few ways to manage your stress include:
- Maintaining a healthy diet and taking supplements if needed
- Drinking lots of water
- Meditating, doing yoga and/or breathing exercises
- Journaling, reading or doing other calming, self-aware and self-care practices
- Reaching out to others for assistance
Finally, if you are having difficulty managing your stress level, talk to your primary care physician. He or she can help you find healthy and body-positive solutions that will empower you to enforce boundaries with stress in your life and help you face all of lifes challenges with a mindset of self-awareness. At Community Access Network, we can and desire to help you navigate lifes daily struggles and your personal wellness. Contact us today!
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