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Chronic Stress: causes and treatment

A common problem that can cause serious problems in our health

Chronic Stress: causes and treatment

In a world that moves so fast, stress is usually a usual consequence; however, having high stress levels over the long term can cause mental and physical problems.

Our body has the ability to eliminate certain levels of stress without major problems, but sometimes that ability is reversed and that is when we can talk about chronic stress.

Stress is a consequence of the body feeling threatened. For example, when you suddenly hear the sound of a horn near you as you walk on the sidewalk, your hypothalamus, located in a small area at the base of your brain, sets off a type of whole-body alarm system.

This reaction is a combination of nerve and hormonal signals that prompts the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, to release a surge of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This reaction alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, reproductive system, and growth processes.

Causes of chronic stress

The activation of the stress response system for long periods of time can cause alterations in all the processes of your body. Some of the main causes of stress are:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Digestive problems

  • Headaches

  • mood disorders

  • Muscle tension and pain

  • stroke

  • Sleeping problems

  • Weight gain

  • addictions

  • Impaired concentration and memory

  • Heart disease, hypertension, heart disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis

The biology of stress, such as hormone production or physiological changes, may be related to prolonging the state of stress, so it must also be considered as a cause.

How is chronic stress diagnosed?

The diagnosis of chronic stress requires an interview by a psychologist or psychiatrist, through which information is obtained about daily habits and the general presence of stress in the life of each patient.

By having a large series of symptoms, the diagnosis may require the professional opinion of other specialists.

Treatment for chronic stress

When treatment against chronic stress begins, patients receive completely personalized advice and treatment. Usually, medication or an improvement in the person's diet can show almost immediate benefits.

Recommendations for stress management include:

  • Do exercise

  • Eating healthy food

  • Learn to better manage time

  • set realistic goals

  • Improve hours of sleep

  • Spend time on leisure activities

  • Develop skills to reduce stress


Habits that can help you reduce your stress levels

Every day, we find ourselves in situations that can be stressful, and we must understand that these moments are part of everyday life. However, steps can be taken to prevent them from affecting you.

Here are some recommended strategies that will help you better manage stress:

  • Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

  • Practice relaxation techniques: yoga, deep breathing exercises, massages or meditation.

  • Keep a diary and write about the situations that are experienced day by day.

  • Spend valuable time on hobbies, for example: reading, listening to music, or watching your favorite show or movie.

  • Foster healthy friendships and healthy family ties.

  • Organize and prioritize what needs to be done at home and at work, and discard tasks that are not necessary.

These are just some recommendations that can help you in your day to day, however, it is crucial that you seek the advice of a professional to help you develop specific tools.

BlueNet Hospitals - Hospital Los Cabos

BlueNet Hospitals

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