Stress can be sneaky. Sure, sometimes, it’s obvious (to you and, er, to pretty much everyone around you) that you’re under stress. But sometimes…not so much. It can creep up and cause all manner of symptoms that you wouldn’t, at first, attribute to stress. And your brain can do a pretty good job denying the effect stress is having. I know–I’ve been there.
Fact is, you may be more stressed than you realize. Many people wouldn’t necessarily report that they feel significant stress, yet their bodies would tell another story. It’s been estimated that 60-90% of visits to the doctor are stress-related. Of course, not all those people realize, when they first seek help, that the root of their symptoms is a toxic level of stress. It often takes a lot of talking, testing, and digging…before finally getting at that root. I know I certainly see tons of stress-related stuff in the clinic.
So how does stress manifest? Here are some signs you may be a lot more stressed than you think:
- irregular or skipped periods
- weight changes
- symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- frequent colds or other infections
- difficulty concentrating
- hair loss
Of course, many of these symptoms can be caused by specific illnesses or other physiologic changes, and you should definitely see your doctor to rule out an underlying cause. But once that’s been done, you may need to take a hard look at your stress level. And more importantly–what you’re doing about it.
Check these links for some stress management ideas: