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googled-questions-stress

We answer your most Googled questions on stress

01 Dec 2023 • 9 min read

We’re here to help make those stressful moments a little more manageable and recognisable. Knowing what the mental and physical symptoms of stress can be could help you to prevent them from being so destructive to your every day. 

Knowing how to de-stress and take care of your wellbeing will help you to manage your stress levels. So, read on for more information on stress and what to do when it strikes!

1. Can stress make you sick?

Chronic stress is when stress occurs consistently over a long period of time. This can have a negative impact on a person's immune system and physical health.

If you are constantly under stress, you may experience physical symptoms such as:
  • Stomach problems 
  • Stress headaches (and other odd pains including muscle or chest pain) 
  • Skin reactions, like stress rashes and hives 
  • Feeling dizzy, sick or faint1
Check out our article on Stress relief: How to tackle stress, for some tips on how you can tackle stress, as well as a list of essential oils that can aid stress relief due to their calming effects.

2. How to get rid of cortisol belly?

Cortisol is widely known as the ‘stress hormone’. When stress persists, cortisol levels rise. This surge in cortisol can increase food cravings, and therefore weight gain.2

If you’re struggling with cortisol belly, here are 6 ways to help cope with stress and maintain a balance of cortisol:
  • Focus on a healthy diet 
  • Stay hydrated 
  • Practice mindfulness 
  • Avoid inflammatory foods 
  • High quality sleep 
  • Exercise3
Head over to our article on What is yoga? to discover how it can help to calm you down and support feelings of mental wellness.

3. Does stress cause hair loss?

Yes, stress can cause hair loss. A common and temporary type of hair loss, known as Telogen effluvium, often affects those who experience severe stress or hormonal change to their body.4
You can try to counteract your stress and protect your hair by:
  • Learning and practicing relaxation techniques (such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga) regularly5
  • Get regular exercise, which helps manage stress and its effects6
  • Spend time with positive people — isolating yourself can make stress worse 
  • Seek professional help from a therapist 
  • Eat a healthy diet (and take a multivitamin if your doctor recommends it) 
  • Treat your hair with care when washing, drying, and styling it 
 Hair loss from stress isn’t always permanent. Though if you have concern or it continues, talk to a doctor or your GP. They may offer a prescription or an over-the-counter remedy to spark hair regrowth.

4. Is stress causing my rash/hives?

It might be. Stress can cause new or worsening skin conditions.

Stress rashes are short term, and usually go away on their own within 24 hours. However, if your stress rash or hives bother you, you can get over-the-counter treatments. Such as antihistamines or topical creams to relieve any uncomfortable symptoms like inflammation or itchy skin.7

5. Are stress and anxiety the same thing?

Stress is typically caused by external factors, whereas anxiety stems from excessive worries which are still present in absence of stressors.

People under stress may experience mental and physical symptoms, such as irritability, changes in mood, fatigue, muscle pain, digestive troubles, and difficulty sleeping.8 These symptoms usually go away when the trigger is removed.

6. Can stress cause diarrhoea?

Yes, stress can sometimes cause diarrhoea. This is because part of the fight-or-flight response involves diverting energy from the digestive tract to elsewhere in the body. Sometimes, this can result in symptoms like diarrhoea. Stress can also sometimes trigger diarrhoea in IBS.9

7. What happens when you stress too much?

Our emotions and thoughts, our body and how we behave can all be affected by stress, and in many different ways. Though knowing common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that's not dealt with can lead to many health problems spanning from heart disease to depression.10

8. Does stress cause headaches?

It may not be a coincidence that headaches are more likely to occur when you're stressed.

In fact, tension headaches are the most common type of headache, often caused by stress and muscle tension. With a tension headache you may feel pain or discomfort in your head, scalp, or neck.11

Stress can also trigger other types of headaches, like migraines, or make them worse.

9. Where does stress acne appear?

Experts believe that stress may trigger an increase in oil production. Our brains trigger the production of hormones which may cause our skin to overproduce sebum, an oily substance on the skin surface.12

Due to this, stress acne is more likely to appear in the oiliest areas of the face, such as your forehead, nose and chin.

The final say

Everyone will experience some sort of stress at some point in their lives. We hope that this article has helped you to understand the many different symptoms of stress, from hair loss to an upset stomach.

Learning how to prevent your stressors and what to do when you feel defeated by them will help you to feel more in control of your environment.
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