5 Effect of Stress on Physical Health

5 Effect of Stress on Physical Health

When you feel stressed, the first thing to go is your immune system. Your body releases chemicals that weaken your ability to fight infections and disease. You might get sick more often, and your body's defenses don't work as well when you're under stress. Stressful situations trigger a cascade of events that weaken your immune system. Here's how:

1. Stress makes you more likely to catch a cold.

Stress makes it easier to catch a cold. Colds typically start with a runny nose and congestion, followed by a fever and a cough. These symptoms are a sign that your immune system is working hard to fight the cold virus. If you're stressed, your body releases hormones and neurotransmitters, which weaken your immune system's ability to fight off infection.

2. Stress hinders your ability to recover from the flu.

Your immune system also fights bacterial infections, and stress can hinder your ability to recover from an infection. A 2009 study in the journal Nature found that mice infected with bacteria that causes pneumonia recovered more slowly when they were stressed. The reason is that stress triggers inflammation and reduces blood flow to the lungs, making it harder for the immune system to fight the bacteria.

3. Stress increases the risk of serious infection.

Stress also affects the immune system's response to a bacterial infection. A psychiatrist from Bhopal found that women who experienced high levels of stress had a higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection than women who didn't. Stress weakens your immune system, so it takes a long time for the body to recognize a pathogen as foreign.

4. Stress weakens your heart.

The human body needs oxygen to function properly. Without enough oxygen, the heart has trouble pumping blood to the rest of the body. In a 2009 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that people who were more stressed out had a higher risk of heart failure. They also had more difficulty recovering from a heart attack.

When you're stressed, the body releases adrenaline and cortisol, which reduce blood flow to the heart and make it harder for the heart to pump blood. This also means that the oxygen supply to the heart is cut off.

5. Stress affects your immune system and mood.

Stress weakens the immune system and alters the brain's chemistry. Cortisol, which is released when you're stressed, changes how the brain's cells communicate. The brain's chemical messenger, glutamate, also plays a role in the brain's communication, and cortisol blocks the release of glutamate. Glutamate is a key neurotransmitter, which is what the brain uses to send signals to other parts of the brain and body.

When you're stressed, you tend to feel anxious and depressed. These feelings alter your mood, which influences your ability to deal with stress and makes it more difficult to stay positive.


Stress has been shown to have a significant impact on our physical health. It is important to understand the various factors that contribute to stress so that we can take action to reduce stress and improve our overall wellbeing.