In life we are often faced with different threats that bring a lot of discomfort to our health and well-being. While discussing the dangers of stress and anxiety in addiction we noted that stress is closely associated with drug addiction and all for the wrong reasons. This collaboration is wreaking havoc to human health and we were able to identify some conditions that come with this relationship. Some of those conditions included gastrointestinal Problems, eating and Stress and diabetes. And as we progress in to the last part of this discussion, we want to dig deeper into other problems that come with the threats of stress and anxiety in addiction. Therefore doctor Dalal Akoury the MD and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center is going to share with us some of the effects in relation to pain, sleeping disturbances, sexual and reproductive dysfunction, memory, concentration, and learning among other relevant conditions to the topic of discussion.
Pain is a common phenomenon in very situations of life. It can be physical or even psychological but in all these it will still remain to be painful. Currently the relationship between pain and emotion is still under investigation by the experts. This investigation or study is facing challenges in the sense that many factors like how different personalities responds to pain and emotion, and the fear of pain and stress itself. However available evidence point to the direction that that chronic pain may impair the action of neutrophils and thereby weakening the immune response. Let’s consider the following pain for a better understanding:
Muscular and Joint Pain – in this case it is believed that stress may intensify chronic pain caused by arthritis and other conditions. Psychological distress also plays a significant role in the severity of back pain. Some studies have clearly associated job dissatisfaction and depression to back problems, although it is still unclear whether stress is a direct cause of the back pain.
Headaches – Tension type headaches are highly associated with stress and stressful events. Sometimes the headache does not start until long after the stressful event has ended. Additionally, stress can contribute to the development of headaches or cause headaches to occur more frequently. Some research suggests that people who experience tension-type headaches may have some biological predisposition for translating stress into muscle contractions. Among the wide range of possible migraine triggers is emotional stress although the headaches often erupt after the stress has eased.
The tensions of unresolved stress frequently cause insomnia, which prevents stressed people from sleeping or causes them to awaken in the middle of the night or early morning. This appears to be due to the fact that stress causes physiological arousal during non-rapid eye movement sleep.
Sexual Function – Stress can reduce sexual desire and cause women to be unable to achieve orgasm. The stress response leads to a drop in androgen (male hormone) levels, sometimes contributing to temporary erectile dysfunction in men.
Premenstrual Syndrome – Some studies indicate that the stress response in women with premenstrual syndrome may be more intense than in those without the syndrome.
Fertility – Chronic stress may affect fertility. Stress hormones have an impact on the hypothalamus, which produces reproductive hormones. This effect may lead to changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle, as well as a reduction in a man’s sperm count. Stress can also reduce sex drive.
Effects on Pregnancy – Old wives’ tales about a pregnant woman’s emotions affecting her baby may have some credence. Stress may cause physiological alterations, such as increased adrenal hormone levels or resistance in the arteries, which may interfere with normal blood flow to the placenta. Maternal stress during pregnancy has been linked to a higher risk for miscarriage, lower birth weight, and an increased incidence of premature births. Some evidence also suggests that an expectant mother’s stress can even influence the way in which her baby’s brain and nervous system will react to stressful events. One study found a higher rate of crying and low attention in infants of mothers who had been stressed during pregnancy.
Stress affects the brain, particularly memory, but the effects vary widely depending on whether the stress is acute or chronic.
Effect of Acute Stress on Memory and Concentration – Studies indicate that the immediate effect of acute stress impairs short-term memory, particularly verbal memory. On the plus side, high levels of stress hormones during short-term stress have been associated with enhanced memory storage, improved working memory, and greater concentration on immediate events. The difference in effect may be due to how cortisol impacts glucocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
Effects of Chronic Stress on Memory – If stress becomes chronic sufferers often lose concentration at work and home, and they may become inefficient and accident-prone. In children, the physiologic responses to chronic stress can interfere with learning. Studies have connected long-term exposure to excess amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol to a shrinking of the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center. It is not yet known whether this shrinking is reversible.
People who are under chronic stress often turn to illicit activities in the hope that they will get relief they can also indulge in misuse of alcohol or tobacco for relief. These substances are actually self-destructive in their own right and when accompanied with stress the damage caused by these habits becomes severe in relation to the same happening under ordinary circumstances without the presence of stress. Besides that many people also resort to unhealthy eating habits, smoking, or passive activities, such as watching television when they are stressed. Remember that alcohol affects receptors in the brain that reduce stress and luck of nicotine increases stress in smokers, which creates a cycle of dependency on smoking.
The experts reiterates that the cycle is self-perpetuating a sedentary routine, an unhealthy diet, alcohol abuse and smoking all these promotes heart disease. They also interfere with sleep patterns, and lead to increased rather than reduced tension levels. Drinking four or five cups of coffee, for example, can cause changes in blood pressure and stress hormone levels similar to those produced by chronic stress. Finally we have by now seen that the friendship between drug addiction and stress is not in any way good for human health. The two must be separated and most importantly we must desire to eliminate them. You can begin the journey of this worthy elimination by scheduling for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury today for the commencement of your treatment that will restore your life back to the fullest.