Stress is the body’s natural response to a perceived threat. It can cause health problems if the body is in a state of constant alert for danger (chronic stress).

The main causes of stress are work, money and family issues. People may also be stressed because of poor eating habits and a lack of exercise. Taking on too many commitments is another common reason for stress. If you feel that you have too much on your plate, talk to a doctor.

Anxiety, tension and a fear of losing control are also symptoms of stress. Worry is often a response to situations outside your control, such as a car accident or a terrorist attack. It is important to find healthy ways of dealing with these feelings and to seek help when you need it.

Other symptoms of stress include indigestion, depression and anxiety. People who suffer from these conditions may have difficulty sleeping or experience headaches. They may become depressed or angry easily and have a hard time concentrating at work.

Stress affects nearly every system in the body. It suppresses the immune system, which makes you less able to fight off disease, and it can increase blood pressure and lead to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It can also cause weight gain and contribute to aging faster.

There are many things that can be done to reduce stress, such as getting enough sleep and exercise, eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco and alcohol and taking up relaxing activities like music or meditation. It is important to talk about your problems with loved ones and seek support when needed.

Chronic stress can also interfere with a healthy lifestyle and lead to a variety of other health problems. For example, it can lead to smoking or excessive drinking, which can be bad for your health. It can also lead to an unhealthy diet, which can result in obesity and high cholesterol levels.

There are a number of medications that can be used to ease stress symptoms, but they should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor. These medicines include sedatives (also known as tranquilizers, hypnotics or anxiolytics), antidepressants and beta blockers. Some of these drugs can have side effects and be addictive, so they should only be used under the supervision of a physician.

In addition, some of these medicines can interact with other drugs. If you have been feeling stressed for a long time, it is worth considering talking to a therapist or counselor to learn new coping skills. Mental health problems, including stress and anxiety, are the reason for 1 in 5 visits to a GP. If you think you might be stressed, make an appointment with your GP for a full evaluation and advice.

You can even keep a diary of your symptoms for 2 to 4 weeks to help your GP spot the triggers for your stress. You might then be able to change the problem that is making you feel stressed. Please call Phenix Health and speak to a doctor.