Clinical Facts about Stress


Stress is one of the most recurrent and common problems in modern life that increasingly becoming a contributory factor for a wide magnitude of chronic as well as critical health problems and diseases. In relation to our discussion on clinical facts about stress we must admit the importance of stress as a great modern lifestyle factor changing our lifestyle, shaping our choices and most importantly derogating our human capacities in both physical and mental level. In a world which is too much plagued by the irregularities of hustle and bustle of modern lifestyle and disintegrating values of organic entity, stress is bound to take such disastrous shape to engulf each and every sphere of our mortal existence. Scientific clinical researches and holistic initiatives to prevent the onslaught the effects of stress is continued all over the globe. Our enumeration here of some of the most crucial clinical facts about stress would enlighten the understanding in regard to stress.

Clinical definition of Stress

According to various medical sources and linguistic explanation stress is the total organic response in both mental and physical level to the challenging and forcing situation. Understanding this definition of stress is one of the most crucial things in obtaining the basic clinical facts about stress. When we are challenged by any situation of life either in mental or physical level or in both levels simultaneously we experience pressured and we are equipped to react to these situations by the release of some hormones which are called stress hormones. But if the pressurizing situation becomes bigger in proportion to our stress managing mechanism then symptoms of not being able to cope up with the challenging environment or situation show up and they are medically regarded as stress.

Worldwide stress situation

In enumerating here the clinical facts about stress we need to have a brief look at the situation of stress as an increasingly derogating health and lifestyle problem around the world. Though stress in all its most disastrous effects and consequences are present to the highest extent dominantly in industrialized countries with higher amount of work pressure and disintegrated value system, the stress symptoms over more than one or one and half decade are reaching to dangerous proportion in semi industrialized affluent societies of emerging or developing economies as well. Another important fact that we must take a notice is that though stress is conceived to be resulted mainly because of the modern lifestyle in industrialized society, especially because of the workplace pressure, there are a host of other contributing factors that are looming large in shaping the stress situation world over, for example the crime situation, increasing danger of international terrorism etc. Let us see here some important facts and information regarding the stress situation in global perspective.

According to the latest survey report by the American Psychological Society more than 50 per cent of the employees in USA say that they become less productive because of the work stress during week days. According to a similar study conducted by the same organization same number of employees in USA said to take a crucial decision like leaving the job or switching the profession or taking early retirement due to stress factors. Several similar studies and surveys also marked stress as the major contributing factor to the derogatory effects in their family relationship that actually adds up to their stress further.

What happens in Stress?

In relation to forming our understanding regarding the clinical facts about stress the most important aspect is how the stress actually manifests deep within our body or in other words to say how our organic functions react to stress. As we have already discussed stress is basically the outcome of our incapability in handling pressurizing situation or challenging environment through our psycho somatic functions, actually stress manifests with its varying symptoms primarily because of the ineffective or not adequately and proportionately functioning stress hormones or production of stress hormones or other activity boosting body chemicals and hormones that actually without being able to be used causes stress symptoms. All these factors regarding the proper, inadequate or excess reaction of stress hormones actually play crucial roles in causing stress manifest in physical or mental level.

Stress in unpleasant or traumatic situations like in fearful conditions can manifests in extreme reactions. It is compared by many experts as caveman's response to tiger or an approaching tiger. This type of challenging situation triggers flight or fight response of the body facing the danger. In such situations that cause panic or fright or traumatic condition our body releases enough adrenalin or chemicals like noradrenalin that impels you to run or take or make frightful movement, though you in most of the cases do not happen to indulge in physical activities in response at all. In such situations the energizing chemicals actually make your heart beat faster, blood pressure higher, nervous function over active and can lead to many other physical reactions. The point of fun is back in the time when you were a caveman with the release of the fight or fight chemicals in your body you used to run or fight and so could not be fallen victim to stress, but in complete contrast now in modern life you no longer need to react physically and only need to ponder over and over and quiver in tension and all sorts of apprehension to get ridden with stress.

Cortisol is primarily called the stress hormone because of the crucial role in body's natural response to stress factors. In response to stress aggravating situations our body reacts with fight or flight response and as we have already seen in such cases we modern human beings instead of actually reacting in physical expression actually indulge in more rigorous psychic expressions and consequently render wide range of disastrous effects on our health conditions and organic functions. Cortisol when secreted less and only in fewer occasions in response to minor pressurizing situations it actually becomes beneficial for our health as it protects our organic function from environmental pressure or challenging situation. But when it stress activating situations occur frequently Cortisol secreting in greater proportion triggers the immune system and other functions to become more active and thus strain the nerves, muscles, blood circulation, brain signals and weakens the immune system to fight alien reactive elements in the body.

Cortisol as per the medical experts increases the use of blood glucose by the brain and other parts of the body and thus can cause deficiency in natural repair of tissues in body. When we talk about the disastrous effects of stress in making us vulnerable to all sorts of chronic diseases and also to many life threatening critical diseases we generally refer to these far reaching effects of stress hormones.

Symptoms of stress

Knowing the symptoms of stress in its detailed manifestation both externally and in internal complications is one of the most important factors in obtaining clinical facts about stress. The symptoms of stress are both recognizable in physical as well as psychic level and in majority of cases stress in its initial symptoms only manifests in behavioral problems and signs related with psychic functions such as anxiety, mental tension, depression, hyperactive thinking pattern, cloudiness of thought, confusion, obsessive psychological disorder, etc. Stress can both be mental and physical in its varied manifestation that we will see here in brief detail.

On the physical level stress can manifest in symptoms such as headache, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue or lethargy, decreasing in sexual potency, sleep disorder or insomnia, high blood pressure or hypertension, stomach upset, nausea, etc. On the psychic level stress can manifests in symptoms such as anxiety, tense behavior, restless behavior, lack of concentration, frantic attitude, lack of motivation or inspiration in anything, increasing level of irritation, ill temperament or anger, undue aggressiveness, sadness and depression, etc.

In the behavioral level also these internal physical as well as psychic symptoms manifest in many possible ways like typical change in eating habit that express itself either in overeating or under eating, showing anger or outburst in anger with relatively insignificant reason, chronic irritation resulting in nagging or obsessive behavior on something, problem in social communication resulting in social withdrawal or social segregation, increased consumption of narcotic drug or alcohol, increase in smoking and finally destructive tendencies in joining crime racket, killing or suicide. Remember all these symptoms of stress across different plain are interlinked and have bearing on one another in making people victim of numerous other physical as well as mental disorders emanating from stress.

Different real life expressions of stress is one area that make you realize the varied outburst of stress that correspond to the understanding obtained through the clinical facts about stress mentioned hitherto. In some cases you become extremely agitated and burst out either in anger or in frustration and in such cases you are more like a boiling pot and even cannot sit still for a minute. In complete contrast you sometimes tend to resign or withdraw from the situation and depression with every passing moment creeps in leaving a heavy burden on your mind and body. And there are situations where you experience both of these stress responses at the same time, intertwined with one another. In such situations you remain cool and it shows that in utter despise you have withdrawn from the situation, but deep inside you cannot control your thought to go round and round around that situation and deep within you remain agitated though cooler in apparent countenance. When stress takes control of you or in other words when you are overwhelmed by stress reactions you do not know how it is going to manifest.

Stress and damage to your organic functions

Stress in number of ways can take heavy toll on your organic functions and understanding the derogatory health effects is important in regard to clear understanding of the clinical facts about stress. Stress as per the medical researchers and expert practitioners from various practicing fields of medicines can really render huge effect in the malfunctioning off nervous functions to respiratory functions to blood circulation or gastronomical functions or heart functions. This is the reason why for modern man to combat a number of crucial and chronic diseases combating stress has become extremely important.

Stress and nervous function:

With flight or fight response of body in relation to stress what gets affected before all other organic functions is our nervous system, because through nervous system only our body reacts through the secretion of stress hormones like adrenalin or Cortisol, but if this becomes more frequent as with most stress ridden people, then the nervous function begin to show tiredness and this result in fatigue, irritation, cloudiness in thought, depression or outburst of anger even in response to minor challenges.

Stress and respiratory problem:

Stress in most cases make people feel agitated with increased heart and breathing rate and naturally if such situation persists with frequent stressful situation then this repeated increase in breathing rate can cause harm to your breathing tract, lungs or even in some cases can result in hyperventilation or breathing problem associated with panic attack.

Stress and cardiovascular problem:

Among the most important clinical facts about stress, the effect of stress on the heart functioning is the most important as stress more than other parts if our organic system can do greatest damage to our heart functioning. If you are stressed your heart is at risk before all other organic functions. Increased blood pumping in the heart, increased heart beat and contraction of the heart muscles all just happen together in stress reactions making you more vulnerable to heart attack or cardiovascular problems.

Stress and muscular skeletal problems:

All over the world for joint pain or for numerous muscular skeletal problems stress is one of the areas that increasingly being referred. Yes, though surprising but even psychic stress like the physical stress can make huge derogatory effect on your joints and muscles and even can be a contributory factors for joint disorders like arthritis. In stress situation the muscles gets tense and contracted that happened frequently with persistent stress weakens the muscles and causes strain in skeletal joints and in the long run can cause severe muscular skeletal damage or diseases like arthritis.

Stress and Gastronomical problems:

Stress can trigger various types of gastronomical problems in multiple ways. When you are in stress you are likely to experience either an increased level of hunger due to the effect of stress hormones in gearing your organic functions in quick time or otherwise it can result in decreased level of hunger due to the mental depression or resulting strain from stress. In both cases your gastronomical function suffers due to non-proportionate food intake. Secondly when you are stressed due extreme agitation or muscle contraction your digestive organs also suffers and this result in poor digestion.

Stress and overactive endocrine system:

Your endocrine system is actually responsible for releasing the stress hormones, now with frequent and persistent stress systems the endocrine glands become strained that ultimately result in result in less and less production of stress hormone and in absence or unavailability of proper level of stress hormone we get more vulnerable to stress and suffer more.

Stress and damage to reproductive system:

Stress can do huge damage to reproductive system of both men and women in different ways. In men stress first of all decreases the body's natural response to sex tremendously. Chronic stress and can cause impairment of sex hormone testosterone and sperm production and can develop into sexual impotence. In women the damage to the reproductive system can be caused in a slightly different way. Chronic stress in women can deregulate menstrual cycle and can cause more painful periods both of which have huge implication in decreasing sexual desire.

Stress and immune system damage:

Without which we just cannot complete our description of the damage caused by the stress factors in enumerating here the clinical facts about stress is the damage caused to immune system by stress. With prolonged stress or frequent stressful situations the fight or flight response of the body gets too much activated in relation to the potential stress situation to manage and in this process the immune mechanism also gets strained every time it has to be kept in alert and this results in great damage to the functioning of the immune system. A damaged immune system in over stressed people can result in increased vulnerability to infectious and bacterial diseases.

In conclusion to our discussion on the clinical facts about stress what is most important is that in combating stress one just cannot take a typical curative approach as with numerous other diseases and medical conditions, but in relation to tackling stress one needs to take on the contributing factors present in our lifestyle and environment as a priority. Stress is one of the lifestyle oriented medical conditions that needs to be addressed with lifestyle changes only before submitting oneself to the therapeutic drugs or treatment.






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