Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Stress And Your Health | Marla Ahlgrimm On How Stress Takes A Toll

Marla Ahlgrimm
We all experience stress now and again, says Marla Ahlgrimm. And you know that stress can cause anxiety and irritability. But, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, the strain you feel each day may affect your overall health in many more unusual ways. 
Stress And The Skin 
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that stress hormones, such as cortisol, can trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals throughout the body. This inflammation can worsen existing skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, and may also lead to flare-ups. Additionally, Ahlgrimm notes that stress can increase oil production in the skin, creating an environment that is conducive to acne breakouts. 
Stress and Hair Loss 
When the body is under chronic stress, every system suffers. This includes the tiny hair follicles, which may shift prematurely from a growth phase to a resting phase. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that this can increase hair shedding, leading to noticeably thinning hair or bald patches in extreme cases. 

Stress And Sex 
Many people use sex to relieve stress, but chronic stress can actually disrupt the delicate hormonal balance in both men and women. Excess stress in men can lead to decreased testosterone production, affecting libido and potentially causing temporary or long-term erectile dysfunction. Women can also experience physical effects of stress, such as irregular periods, decreased vaginal lubrication, and a lower sex drive. This is because stress hormones, like cortisol, can disrupt the production of estrogen and progesterone. 
Stress and The Immune System 
That's right, Marla Ahlgrimm says that stress can affect your immune system. This is because the strain on your body can suppress its ability to fight off germs. This can leave you susceptible to catching colds, the flu, and other infections. Marla Ahlgrimm stresses (no pun intended) that the inflammation triggered by chronic stress can further hinder the body's immune response.  
Stress And Teeth Grinding 
While you might not notice it, many of us tend to clench our teeth when we are stressed out. Marla Ahlgrimm says that this can lead to grinding, which can wear down tooth enamel and result in jaw pain. TMJ, a jaw disorder that causes pain and headaches, may also be triggered by excessive teeth clenching. 
Stress And The Gut 
You probably already understand the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome. However, this complex ecosystem of bacteria, which plays a vital role in digestion and overall health, can be disrupted by just a few days of excessive stress. Bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation may indicate an imbalance in the microbiome, according to Marla Ahlgrimm. 
Stress and Brain Fog 
Chronic stress can cloud your thinking and make it difficult to focus or remember things. This is because stress hormones impair the function of the hippocampus, which Marla Ahlgrimm explains is the part of the brain most responsible for memory and learning. Stress can trigger forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and a general mental fog. 
Marla Ahlgrimm
Marla Ahlgrimm reminds us that these are not the only ways that stress can affect you. Not all women will experience every symptom, but Marla Ahlgrimm cautions that excessive stress is bad for the body. While we can't avoid all stressors, we can meditate, take vacations, and practice deep breathing to help our bodies return to a healthy state.