Stress-related illness may worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, accelerated ageing and even premature death. Stress is a built-in physiologic response to a threat. When you feel stressed, your body responds and your blood vessels constrict. And then your blood pressure and pulse rise that making you breathe faster. Finally, your bloodstream is flooded with hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
Obesity with excess fat in the belly may pose greater health risks than fat on the legs or hips, but the truth is that's where people with high stress seem to store it. Stress causes higher levels of the hormone cortisol and that may increase the amount of fat that's deposited in the abdomen. Stress can worsen diabetes in two ways by increasing the likelihood of bad behaviours such as unhealthy eating and excessive drinking, and by raising the glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes directly. Also, stress can directly increase heart rate and blood flow and cause the release of cholesterol and triglycerides into the bloodstream.