Stress is a killer, it’s plain and simple.

Stress has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, such as [1]:

  • Insomnia
  • Rosacea
  • Hypertension
  • Panic Attacks
  • Coughing
  • Hair Loss
  • Acne
  • Heartburn
  • Heart attack
  • and the list goes on…

Medicine Net [1] lists nearly 100 different disorders that can be triggered, caused, or worsened by stress. The truth is that stressing out is one of the worst things that you can do for your health.

Stress and Fatigue: Are they Linked?

stress and fatigue are linked

Scientists have long suspected that stress is linked to fatigue, and there is a simple explanation of how the two are connected. [2]

When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol increases the amount of adrenaline produced by your adrenal glands, which amps you up and kicks in your “fight or flight” response.

 

When your body is producing a lot of adrenaline, your metabolism speeds up in order to produce more energy. This enhanced energy output uses up all of the glucose you have stored, leaving your body drained of resources. When the energy is all gone, you feel tired and sleepy–hence the link between stress and fatigue.

As you can see, stress is definitely one of the things that can cause fatigue, but just how serious can it be?

Stress and CFS

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating disorder in which the sufferer is always very, very tired. The fatigue is only made worse by anxiety, worries, stress, and action, and resting doesn’t help to relieve the symptoms. It’s a disorder that can last for months, during which time the person suffering from CFS can do very little.

In an article published on PsychCentral [3], the link between stress and CFS was explained:

“The cause of CFS has not yet been found, but research confirms that an imbalance in the normal interactions of the body systems that controls stress can be one of the things leading to CFS.”

In the study, patients with severe fatigue and CFS were found to have very low levels of cortisol in their blood in the mornings. Women with CFS were more likely to have attenuated cortisol, while men with and without CFS showed no change in their cortisol levels. This could be an explanation as to why women tend to suffer from CFS more than men.

Stress and Your Thyroid

make a relaxation a daily habit

When your body feels threatened or in a situation where it needs large quantities of energy, it increases the production of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These two hormones do more than just speed you up in times of stress, but they raise your blood pressure, fuel your muscles, and more.

However, if the high levels of stress are maintained, the adrenal glands secrete TOO MUCH adrenaline and cortisol. Your body becomes unable to handle the high levels of stress-induced adrenaline, your body begins to convert T-4–a hormone needed for healthy thyroid function–into T-3, thyronine.

The active thyroid hormone no longer is available, and your thyroid gland suffers as a result. Your adrenal gland eventually overworks itself until it can no longer produce the hormones, and at this stage you run the increased risk of serious health issues like heart problems, nervous breakdown, and even death in some cases.

Thyroid problems have been directly linked to stress [5], which is why those with thyroid issues struggle so much with their work-life balance.

How to Fight Stress and to Prevent Fatigue

You want to avoid the many health problems caused by stress, so it’s essential to find ways to combat fatigue in your life. Here are a few of the best ways you can deal with your stress [6]:

  • Laugh. Laughter not only increases the production of relaxing brain chemicals, but it also sends mood-boosting signals to your brain. It’s one of the best ways to fight stress!
  • Let go. Stress often comes as a result of loss of control. When you can’t control the situation you’re in, it’s hard for you to operate. Just let go of that need for control, and accept things the way they are.
  • Exercise. Exercise combats not only fatigue, but also helps to reduce stress. Exercise controls the levels of cortisol in your body, and will help you deal with your stress before it gets out of hand.
  • Sleep more. Getting a good night’s sleep is a great way to fight your stress, and will deal with fatigue as well. If you’re feeling tired and stressed, make sure to get a solid 8 hours of sleep every night.
  • Organize yourself. A lot of time stress is caused by the feeling of being overwhelmed or overworked. If you’re organized, you’ll find you have a lot more time to do everything you need/want to do.
  • Kick bad habits. Stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, and cut caffeine out of your life. All of these things can lead to stress, so get rid of these bad habits.
  • Slow down. Stop racing through your life. Take time to enjoy things, even annoying things like sitting in traffic or standing in line. Listen to music or audiobooks, read more, play games, and just enjoy yourself!
  • Nurture your body. Feed your body with things it needs. A proper diet is a key part of it but you should also make sure that you also get the right antioxidants that keep your body functioning.

Don’t let stress cause you to feel tired, but beat that stress and you’ll feel so much better!

 

Source:

[1] MedicineNet.com

[2] Medical News Today

[3] Psych Central

[4] Just in Health Wellness Clinic

[5] Los Angeles Times

[6] American Heart Association