Occasional stress is a fact of life, but suffering chronic stress can wreak havoc on your health. US-based consumer health magazine Prevention published an article on November 21 on the top ten stress signs to watch out for.
Stress can manifest in unexpected ways, from nightmares to teeth gnashing. If you experience any of these ten signs, it's a good idea to take stock of your stress levels and focus on unwinding before stress takes a toll on your body and mind.
- Weekend headaches - a sudden drop in stress can prompt migraines, said Todd Schwedt, MD, director of the Washington University Headache Center in the US, in an interview with Prevention.
- Terrible period cramps - stressed-out women are twice as likely to experience painful cramps as those who are less stressed, a Harvard study found.
- Sore jaw - an achy mouth or jaw can be a sign of teeth grinding, which usually occurs during sleep and can be worsened by stress.
- Odd dreams - when you're stressed, you wake up more often, disrupting the sleep process and allowing bad dreams to recur throughout the night.
- Bleeding gums - according to a Brazilian analysis of past studies, stressed-out people have a higher risk of periodontal disease.
- Sudden acne - stress increases the inflammation that leads to breakouts, according to Gil Yosipovitch, MD, a clinical professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University in the US.
- A sweet tooth - stress can trigger sugar cravings, especially in women, researchers say.
- Itchy skin - a recent Japanese study of more than 2,000 people found that those with chronic itchy skin were twice as likely to be tense as those without the condition.
- Allergies - stress hormones may stimulate the production of IgE, a blood protein that causes allergic reactions, research suggests.
- Stomach aches - anxiety and stress can cause stomach aches, along with headaches, backaches, and insomnia.
How to manage your stress? Medical resource WebMD recommends learning better ways to manage your time and finding ways to cope with stress, such as relying on a support system of friends or family. Taking good care of yourself is also vital - be sure to get plenty of rest and regular exercise. Also eat well, don't smoke, and limit your alcohol consumption.
To read the Prevention article: http://online.prevention.com/silentsignalsyouarestressed/index.shtml
See a video with simple solutions for managing stress: