Now more then ever we hear it all the time, " I'm so stressed " or " My problem is too much stress." Stress is associated and responsible for numerous illnesses but what is the correlation? Per say stress will not cause an illness but it is our reaction to stress in our environment that depletes our immune systems which in turn leads to illnesses. What takes place within our bodies is a natural chemical reaction that perceives danger when we go into distress which falls under the categories of heart ache, anxiety, stress of money or even relocating are just a few reasons.
There are two types of stress: Catecholamines (Short-Term Stress) and Cortisol ( Long-Term Stress.)
To simplify it, Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced by the brain that plays an important role as a chemical messenger and what is the brain's reward motivator. When you are happy or rewarded the levels of dopamine increase activity and levels grow. Dopamine is converted to another neurotransmitter called norepinephrine by an enzyme called (DBH) or dopamine beta-hydroxylase.
A high amount of norepinephrine is produced in the gut which can disrupt digestion and cause an imbalance which is caused by stress and is recognized as a fight or flight mode with symptoms of anxiety and a quickened heart rate. This is what short term or heightened stress does to your body. Now moving onto long term.
Cortisol which is prolonged (ongoing) long term stress is truly dangerous to your body. Prolonged elevations cause massive problems with metabolism, sleep and actions even in your genes. People tend to seek medication for depression, suicide, and anxiety often but the negative side effects of cortisone medication can be harsh such as cardiovascular disease ( cancer is many cases from personal experience ) weight gain and immune suppression. Although each of us reacts to stress in a unique way, no one is immune to its effects expression if prolonged and unwanted.