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BL9412 Public Health Question: Write a report on the impact of stress on health. Answer: Introduction Stress is the condition that is characterized by a feeling of strain or pressure. In the highly competitive world that we live in, stress is a very common phenomenon. Every person faces stress at some point in their lives. There might be various causes for stress. Often a person may be stressed due to pressure at work, health issue or a personal problem that an individual might be facing. Feeling stressful at times is a normal thing. However, excessive stress can lead to major health issues and has various adverse impacts on the person’s life. Various effects of stress are as given below: I11 Effects Of Stress On Health Headache The first symptom of stress faced by individuals is a headache. Every time a person feels stressed, it is also natural for him or her to have a headache. Stress directly puts too much pressure on a person’s brain. Stress caused by overthinking or excessive worry can cause a strong headache. In the initial stages, the headache can be cured with a cup of coffee, a sound sleep or a small medication. However, if the cause of the stress persists, it can lead to more problems. Depression Stress can also cause depression. Depression is a state of feeling low on energy. It is often characterized by prolonged episodes of a bad mood and lack of interests in everyday activities. It is a mental illness and excessive stress can lead to a person feeling depressed (Rahouma & Port). If this depression continues for long, a person may need help of psychiatrist. Blood Pressure Stress can also impact a person’s blood pressure. Whether the blood pressure will become excessively high or low depends on the person’ body type. This blood pressure issue can further lead to other health problems. High blood pressure makes the person restless and uneasy. On the other hand, low blood pressure makes the person feel weak and tired. Excessive stress can easily impact blood pressure. Weakened Immune System Long episodes or frequent episodes of stress can lead to a weakened immune system. A weak immune system means that the person becomes more prone to diseases. Once the person with a low immune system falls ill, he or she takes a much longer time to recover. A weak immune system can lead to various problems. Stress must be avoided at all costs before it reaches the extent to affect the immune system of an individual. Fertility Problems Stress also adversely impacts ladies and their fertility system. To begin with, excessive stress may disturb a woman’s menstrual cycle. This in turn may lead to PCOD (polycystic ovarian disorder). If stressful conditions prolong for a much longer time, then it may affect women to the extent of being infertile for life. Pregnant women are strongly advised against being stressed because it also impacts the health of the fetus within them. Insomnia Insomnia is characterized by a lack of sleep. It is regarded as habitual sleeplessness or a person’s inability to sleep. Long durations of stress can adversely impact an individual’s sleeping schedule and makes him or her sleepless. If this continues for long then the person find it difficult to sleep even when she or she is not stressed (Jarrin, 2014). A lack of sleep impacts all their bodily functions as well as their behavior. Erectile Dysfunction Men often face the problem of erectile dysfunction when they are stressed. This erectile dysfunction is also known as impotence and is characterized by an inability to develop or maintain an erection during a sexual activity (Rew & Heidelbaugh, 2016). This can in turn adversely impact their family life and their relationships with their partners. Impacts Appetite Being stressful can adversely impact a person’s appetite. It depends on person to person whether there is a considerable increase in the appetite or a sever loss of appetite. Most people who are stressed are prone to skipping meals as they don’t realize if they are hungry or not (Furukawa, 2017). Similarly, people often overeat in order to address the stress that they are facing and when this becomes a habit, their appetite get impacted in the longer run. Tense Muscles Stress may often lead to tense muscles characterized by sever body ache. This is because stress in general has a tendency of taking away energy from our body. Hence, long periods of remaining stressful can lead to body ache and weakening of muscles. Ideally muscles become tense when a person is stressed in order to protect themselves from injury (Ortega & Ortega, 2017). These muscles automatically get relaxed once the person is not stressed. However, longer durations of stress do not provide body muscles with a chance to relax and hence leads to headache, body ache, back ache and shoulder ache. Positive Effect Of Stress There is no denying that stress adversely impacts a human health. However there are a few positive impacts of stress as well. Short durations of stress if channelized properly can result in positive outcomes. The positive impact of stress includes the following: Motivation Stress motivates people to perform better and deliver better results. There are many people to perform best under stress and excessive pressure (Health Guidance, 2018). Stress provides people with a much required adrenaline rush and helps them perform better than a relaxed situation. This is specifically beneficial for athletes who are often stressed before an important event and hence perform better on the day of the event. Cognitive Enhancer There is a reason that people are able to learn better one day before the exam than a week before. Stress often activates and improves aspects of a person’s intelligence (Greenberg, 2017). Stress helps people to focus better and even react to situations in a better manner. Stressed people can drive better because their cognitive centers are performing better. Increases Short Term Immunity In the long run, stress adversely impacts a person’s immunity. However, in the short run, stress is highly beneficial for a person. Once the body feels stressed, the body automatically tends to prepare itself for an upcoming problem that the body might face. This improve immunity is only temporary and is created by the body by producing extra interleukins which is a chemical that helps regulating the immunity system. Improved Creativity Stress often makes people creative. A lot of creative ideas reach the mind when the person is stressed. This can be seen in the case of movie directors, actors, writer and painters shortly before a deadline. The piece of work that is delivered in a stressful condition is often a very good piece of art. Conclusion Stress is the condition of feeling under a lot of pressure or being strained. Stress has become a part and parcel of the lives that we lead today. It is often due to immense competition that we face in the world. There are various adverse impacts of stress that we see today. Long durations of stress can impact a person’s immunity, blood pressure and can even cause depression, insomnia, infertility and erectile dysfunction. People must work towards channeling that stress into something positive as stress creates a sense of motivation and creativity in an individual (Seaward, 2017). If an individual in unable to channelize this stress, then longer durations of stress are extremely harmful and the person must seek professional help to resolve the same. References  Furukawa, 2017. Increased oxidative stress in obesity and its impact on metabolic syndrome. The Journal of clinical investigation, 114(12), pp.1752-1761. Greenberg, J.S., 2017. Comprehensive stress management. McGraw-Hill Education. Health Guidance. 2018. ‘The positive effects of stress’. Retrieved on 23 February, 2018. Jarrin, D.C., 2014. The role of vulnerability in stress?related insomnia, social support and coping styles on incidence and persistence of insomnia. Journal of sleep research, 23(6), pp.681-688. Ortega, T. and Ortega, F.F.U.T., 2017. Stress Management Series: Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Stress. Rahouma, M. and Port, J.L., 2017. Mental Health and Emotional Stress; Impact of Cancer Diagnosis on Suicide. J Biol Med Res, 1(1), p.2. Rew, K.T. and Heidelbaugh, J.J., 2016. Erectile dysfunction. Am FAM Physician, 94(10), pp.820-7. Seaward, B.L., 2017. Managing stress. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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