How Can Stress Impact Physical Health?

Heart Disease

When you’re under stress, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that increases your blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. High levels of these hormones can increase your risk for heart disease, the number one killer in both women and men.


Chronic stress is bad for your body and can cause a range of health problems. It can lead to depression, and even increase your risk of heart disease and other illnesses.

Depression affects how you feel, think and behave. Symptoms include low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and a lack of energy.

The cause of depression is not fully understood, but it can be influenced by your brain chemistry and hormones. Genetics may also play a role.

Weight Gain

Stress is a natural reaction to life’s challenges, but it can take a toll on your health. When you’re under chronic stress, it can affect every organ in your body.

When a stressful event triggers the stress response, your body releases hormones that increase your heart rate and blood pressure and ready your muscles for action. But if this fight or flight response continues for long periods of time, it can lead to heart problems and other health issues.

High Blood Pressure

When you’re stressed, you release hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. These are part of the body’s fight-or-flight response, but they can also raise blood pressure.

Even a temporary spike in blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels and heart. This is especially true when you have an illness or other health issue.