Stress’s Weird Effects on Your Body
Many things are mysterious, and dangerous …
Stress. We all have it.
Some are very sensitive to it and its effects, while others of us discount it or think it has no significant effect on us at all. We are wrong.
I know because that’s what I thought a few years ago, when I started having weird stomach issues. For months, I’d get weird pains, especially after eating, but with no real tie to any food or specific time or activity.
I went to the ER twice, even had a related but useless appendectomy because of this, after a couple months of non-specific very lower abdomen pain and ambiguous CAT scans that looked like they might be problematic.
They didn’t get better, and varied a lot over the next year or so.
Then, by chance, I had dinner with a good friend who also has had years of stomach issues. He said “It’s stress.” And explained his own issues disappear when he’s on a beach in Thailand, eating & drinking more and stronger than usual. But when he gets on a plane back home, he’s sick before they close the aircraft door.
And poof, my pain was gone. Once my brain knew it was stress, it totally disappeared. Nothing, not a single pain the next day, week, month, or year. Not again for 5+ years. Your body is like that.
Five years later, though, under considerably more stress in work, marriage, and kids in school, this problem returned during the COVID times, probably due to that added worry on top of all the rest.
Stress can cause visible internal physical damage.
This time, the scopes show visible damage in my stomach & upper GI tract, though with medicine, de-stressing, more sleep, and less eating at night, we hope it’ll go away over time.
Beyond that, I started getting anxiety pains for the first time in my life. And i’m far from an anxious person. At my age, thinking this is a heart attack, I’ve been in the hospital once, and had more EKGs that I care to think about. But doctors assure me it’s all in my head and stress levels.
Stress can cause you to be checked in to a hospital for angiograms or operations you don’t need.
So now I’m working again to de-stress along with more sleep and exercise, doing more of the things I like in life. It’s a long path and I still get chest pressure in various random situations, which suck, but I learn to live with over time.
Stress is a powerful force and it will eat you up over time, no matter how tough you are. Get on top of yours today.