The Effects Of Stress On The Body, Brain And Gut Health

The Effects Of Stress On The Body, Brain And Gut Health

Stress happens when you're confronted with an obstacle or a demand in life. It causes emotional or physical tension. It's a natural feeling that's evolved over the course of a life in order to safeguard yourself from risk. 

The flight-or-fight response, it helps get the body prepared to act. In case you're in danger, your hypothalamus of the brain sends triggers - both in the form of nerve impulses and chemical signals to the adrenal glands. They are glands located over the kidneys like the hat that is perched upon the head.

The adrenal glands release hormones, like cortisol, which can raise the blood sugar and blood pressure (among many other factors). This is great when you have to chase an enraged lion, but more so if you believe the danger is a possible layoff  .


Although it occurs to every person, stress can be detrimental to health when it is prolonged over a time. 


What are the Signs and Symptoms of Stress?


Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Low self-esteem, lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding people’s


Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of libido or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and difficulty in swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth


Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Disorganization
  • Difficult to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative side.


Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite 
  • Procrastinating 
  • Avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Nervous behaviors (nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing)


Ayurveda Prespective on Stress

Ayurveda says that our body's three vital energies, or doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—are closely linked to stress. The balance of these doshas affects the amount of negative stress. It is essential to balance these doshas to perfection to maintain good health and a healthy stress level. Furthermore, one of these dominant doshas shapes each person's personality. 

It is crucial to understand these doshas and develop the appropriate stress management strategies to combat them. 


Let's take a closer look at these tridoshas.

Vata dosha emphasizes quick thinking, originality, creativity, and intuition. If this is your predominant dosha, you may be prone to life transitions that cause anxiety or panic. Fear, anxiety, insomnia, isolation, and other symptoms are all manifestations of an increase in Vata dosha.

Pitta is an energy that is determined, intelligent, competitive, and self-assured. It can show up in irritability, frustration, and rage. Sweating, heartburn, diarrhoea, and hypertension are all potential triggers in Pitta.

Kapha is well-known for its solidity, stability, dependability, and rootedness. Kapha-prevailing individuals can be impervious to change and are not adaptable but somewhat more complicated in awkward circumstances, which can make pressure. Comfort eating, lack of motivation, tiredness, and other symptoms may indicate stress.

What is Stress According to Ayurveda? 

Depression is caused by excessive Kapha, which throws the brain's electrochemistry out of balance (Vata) and causes a significant decrease in the body's metabolism's enzymatic activity (Pitta). The body has seen this abrupt imbalance in Vata and Pitta and goes to fix mode by releasing an abundance of Kapha. Consequently, the body experiences heaviness, doom, and hopelessness, eventually leading to depression.

The entire body is severely impacted by stress, including fertility issues, heart attacks, irregular periods, low immunity, high blood sugar, and other complications.

Doshas, particularly Vata, are aggravated by stress, unhealthy habits, and diet. The channels of the Manovaha Strotas become clogged with these Doshas, and as a result, brain nourishment suffers. The mind's gunas, Rajas and Tamas, also begin aggravating. 

Neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin become abnormal as a result. The mind's normal thought process is affected by this. The person may experience restlessness, nervousness, panic, or thoughts of fear due to Vata's volatile nature. 


Here are some ways stress can impact your health and how you can address it.


Food Cravings

Cortisol has been linked in studies to be an adrenaline hormone that is released in stressful times, to cravings for fat, sugar or both.

The hormone is linked to brain receptors that regulate the intake of food. And if you already carry more weight, you may be even more susceptible--possibly due to already high insulin levels.

It is important to understand your triggers and be prepared in case of stress will strike. This means stocking with nutritious snacks if you frequently go to the vending machine in the office, and make sure you don't have unhealthy foods in case of a time when you feel like an episode in the form of anxiety eating.


It is difficult to lose belly fat

There is clear correlation between stress and weight gain. A large part of this link is caused by poor diet when you're stressed, but cortisol, a stress hormone, can also increase the amount of fat tissue that body hangs to and expand in size the fat cell. Cortisol levels that are higher have been associated with more abdominal fat -- yes, belly fat!

Exercise can reduce tension and aid in keeping the belly fat in check if that's something you're worried about.

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Heart Problems

The precise relationship with stress, and the risk of heart attacks isn't clear yet. The stress hormone can affect other habits and triggers can increase risk of heart disease including smoke, inactivity and eating too much.

The most effective thing you can do to live a healthy life style is to concentrate on the reduction of stress in your life. This includes making time off your job when you're in need or doing meditation and exercise.

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Stress can trigger hyperarousal. (the state of mind in which people simply do not feel tired). As for insomnia itself, which is a condition where a person experiences frequent problems falling and staying asleep - is often caused by stress.

Although major stressors may cause insomnia that fades after the stress has passed but exposure to long-term stress can disturb sleep and cause sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. 

What can you do? Concentrate on sleeping hygiene (making your environment conducive to a peaceful night's sleep) and then try yoga or another activities that relieve stress throughout the daytime.


Also Read: Say Goodnight To Insomnia: 5 Natural Home Remedies



"Fight or flee" chemicals such as adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol may trigger vascular changes that leave you with the sensation of a migraine in the course of stress or during the "let-down" time afterward.

Tension headaches, are the most frequent kind of headaches. They are typically felt as if the "band is pulling on your head" they can be felt in your scalp, head or neck area.

Since stress can make your muscles tight, it could make an already painful headache worse. In addition to dealing with the headache by itself, concentrate on making your home more comfortable for headaches by adjusting your, diet and lifestyle.

The relationship between sleep and memory isn't completely clear however, Ayurveda believe that the quality and quantity of sleep a person gets may impact memory and learning.

The excess of the cortisol hormone that is a stress hormone could affect the brain's capacity to make new memories.

In the case of stress that is acute it also interferes with neurotransmitters, the substances which brain cells use to communicate with one another. This can cause difficulty to concentrate or recall memories.

Although it's difficult to manage stress in our busy life Ayurveda recommends meditation along with other strategies such as home remedies, diet and lifestyle changes.

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Hair loss

There are several key ways stress can cause hair loss.

Telogen effluvium is an extremely frequent reason for temporary loss of hair. This is because stress enough can force your hair follicles to a longer period of rest, which means they don't grow new hair strands in the same amount of time or as frequently as normal when you're under a lot of stress.

Stress and anxiety may contribute to a condition medically called trichotillomania, where people feel a strong desire to remove the hair on their own scalp.

Ayushakti’s “Hair Shakti” program helps to increase Anagen phase ( high growth & long hair, prolongs Catagen phase (so long life ) & regrows hair follicle after Telogen phase (hair thickness maintained).


Pregnancy complications

According to Ayurveda, Infertility is when you can't get pregnant after one year of attempting to conceive. In females, the reason for infertility includes endometriosis, uterine fibroids, thyroid disease and stress could be one of the many reasons. Men with infertility issues might have a low sperm count or low testosterone along with hectic lifestyle and stress. The risk of barrenness increases as you age.

The everyday stresses of life effect on the pregnancy process, however extreme stress, such as losing a work or becoming divorced could increase the chance of having a premature birth. Stress can increase the chance of your baby being born a low birth weight.

Prenatal yoga , as well as other stress-reducing techniques may help you, seek help if you're extremely stressed and pregnant.


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Blood sugar levels are high.

Stress can raise blood sugar levels. If you have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you could notice the blood sugar levels are higher during times of stress.

Making changes to your diet and exercising more or altering your medications can help keep your medication under control.


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Gut Problems

Constipation is quite a common issue in today’s world due to our lifestyle and choice of foods which makes it even worse. Because of that, the stomach and digestive organs find it hard to break down the food into pieces, because of which constipation happens. There are a wide range of reasons for constipation stress is one of them.

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Giving yourself much-needed rest is the best treatment for stress. Make time for the activities that you find refreshing, rejuvenating and calming, such as cooking, reading, singing, meditation, or exercise. Priority must be given to anything that makes your heart feel lighter and brings joy into your life. Give yourself a day of pampering (even at home) if you enjoy getting your nails done or going to the spa. Spend an hour immersed in a book if you enjoy reading a book.

You'll be able to combat the effects of everyday stress if you make time for relaxation and rejuvenation! Be on the lookout for the warning signs and stop them before it takes over.

Untreated stress, anxiety, and depression can cause many other health complications, as stated in this blog. Ayushakti’s Depritox treatment program remarkably reduced chronic years old depression or anxiety by providing a customized diet, proven home remedies, effective herbal remedies, authentic detox (Panchkarma) therapies, and Marma (Ayurvedic pressure points).

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