We all know that stress is a major issue that has a significant impact on our overall health and well-being, but we are often at a loss as to how to fix it. In some cases, we may not even understand that some of our biggest health issues are actually symptoms of stress. For instance, one symptom of stress is overeating. If you keep trying to lose weight, but just can’t seem to keep it off, the real problem might not be your diet, but your stress levels. Here are 5 other sneaky ways stress and anxiety can impact your health.

The exact cause of migraine headaches is unknown and can be different for everyone. That being said, there are still a limited number of causes of migraines and stress is definitely high on the list.

While the fear of an approaching lion may not seem the same as the fear of losing our jobs, homes or loved ones, our body responds to them the same way. What we call “stress” is actually a type of fear, which activates our fear response; sometimes known as the “fight or flight response.” It’s awfully hard to sleep when your body is preparing to flee or fight.

Back Pain
One of the many things that an activated fear response does is cause your muscles to tense up in preparation to flee or fight. When you are under constant stress, your muscles are also constantly tense. Your spine is held in place by an intricate series of muscles and tendons. Constant tension can cause stress-related back pain. While you should definitely work to minimize the sources of your stress, seeing a chiropractor regularly can help minimize the damage of stress to your spine.

Gastrointestinal Issues
Cortisol is a hormone which shuts down your digestive system and adrenaline gives you a boost of energy when your fear response is activated. Living with chronic stress means your body is constantly producing and secreting these two hormones. Over time this can severely interfere with your digestive processes, which can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues. If left untreated, they can even develop into more serious issues such as ulcers, chronic heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease or even irritable bowel syndrome.

There is almost no end to the list of physical and medical problems that stress can cause. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to keep treating the issues stress causes, without dealing with the cause of stress. Without dealing with the underlying causes of stress, your health issues will only continue to deteriorate.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.