5 Shocking Things Stress Does to the Body


The human body can cope with moderate stress because you have hormonal and mental safeguards to ensure that loss of function doesn’t occur in these situations. On the other hand, long, regular periods of stress are problematic, throwing the body’s normal function off track.

It also opens you up to mental and physical disabilities that develop in the long or short run. Self-care, even in a busy atmosphere, is vital for optimal health. Some shocking effects of stress on your body include:

Sleep Deprivation

Stressed people sometimes choose to forgo their regular rest periods. Sleep deprivation has effects that show in the short, medium, and long term. Short-term symptoms include temporary memory loss, mood disorders, and increased pain sensitivity. 

You also experience psychosis after more than 48 hours of sleep deprivation. Long-term effects include reduced quality of life, hormonal imbalance, and increased risk of stroke and cardiac arrest. Regular rest periods in episodes requiring stress are vital to full function.

Tension, Headaches, and Migraines

Stress induces body tension. Short-term stress causes instant straining of the muscles, putting the body on guard. It reduces when the cause of stress is resolved. 

Long-term stress exposure keeps continuous tension on the muscles, causing fatigue and weakness. Hormonal changes in stress reduce hormones aiding nervous relaxation, causing tension headaches and migraines, which reduce function.

Hormonal Imbalance

Certain hormones increase in response to stress. Cortisol released under stress ensures nutrient supply to vital organs of your body. Unregulated secretion causes detrimental effects on the body, including damage to brain parts.

It also reduces serotonin secretion during stress, affecting relaxation. Melatonin, released in large amounts during stress, causes relaxation. Cortisol damages the organs that produce melatonin when released for long periods.

Hypertension, Stroke, and Diabetes

Instances of stress raise your blood pressure, keeping it elevated during times of stress. Long-term stress leads to hypertension, which affects many body organs. 

It also leads to a stroke which affects mobility and brain health. The long-term effect of cortisol on your blood sugar is diabetes, which is fatal if untreated, and expensive to manage.

Reduces Reproduction

Cortisol affects temperature regulation and blood pressure. Excess amounts of cortisol affect the physiology of your male reproductive system. Stress causes arousal but reduces sex drive and may lead to erectile dysfunction. 

It also discourages sperm maturity and masculinity. Stress in females affects the regularity and quality of menstrual cycles, leading to irregular and absent menstrual flow.


Young individuals may ignore the effects of stress because their bodies counteract them. But they may encounter its long-term effects later in life. 

Adequate rest is necessary during periods of stress. Stop gaps in stress episodes ensure you stay relaxed and optimal during periods of high demand on your body.