August 2014

Conditions Caused By Stress

Physical Manifestations Caused By or
Associated with Stress

The following are lists of common and unusual medical conditions and illnesses which are either caused by stress, associated with stress or made worse by stress. We have artifically divided these conditions into three groupings. This has been done to better outline the affects stress has on the various systems of the human body. There is a great overlap in how stress affects various parts of the body and the variuos bodily systems. In our books Stress-Related Disorders: Illness An Intelligent Act of the Body  and When your Body Talks, Listen! we look at how and why the various systems of the body are affected and the reasons and causes for this.

Common Medical Conditions

Rashes (acne) and/or hives
Frequent bouts with flu-like symptoms (possibly related to lowered immune system and body resistance) / more colds than normal
Cold, clammy hands and/or feet
Increased sweating
Increased appetite and obesity
Inability to work / sudden bursts of uncontrollable energy
Faintness / dizziness / numbness / paralysis

Reduced resistance to infection
Tumor promotion
Auto-Immune Phenomena

Extremities Muscular-Skeletal Systems
Muscle aches (especially neck, shoulders, back or legs) cramping / tightness
Unexplained fatigue / muscle weakness / lethargy
Arthritic-like joint pains
Neck pain / backache / sharp momentary shooting pains
Numbness /paralysis of extremities

Head Eyes Ears Nose Throat
Headaches / migraines / tension / sinus headaches
Frowning or frequent wrinkling of the forehead
Dry mouth / bad breath / difficulty swallowing
Jaw clenching / jaw pain / bruxism / tenomandibular joint syndrome
Teeth gnashing / grinding
Facial tics and twitching
Eye "strain" / Changes in visual acuity
Ringing in the ears

Respiratory Cardiovascular Systems
Cackling, hacking cough
Rapid heartbeat / irregular heartbeat / arrhythmia
Chest pains / shortness of breath / angina-like symptoms

Gastrointestinal System
Nausea / vomiting / diarrhea / constipation
Stomach or abdominal pain / acid indigestion / reflux of acid into esophagus
Bloating / biliousness

Urinary and Reproductive Systems
Frequent urination / difficulty starting and stopping urination
Discomfort on urination / impotence
Irregular Menstruation / menstrual cramps / skipped menstrual periods / absent menstrual periods
Premenstrual Syndrome
Menopausal Symptoms

Common Behavioral and Other Manifestations Caused by or Associated with Stress

Insomnia / nightmares / frequent day dreaming
Increased or decreased appetite
Increased or chain smoking
Frigidity / loss of sex drive / obsessive sex drive
Addictions to alchol, drugs, prescription drugs
Constantly thinking / rehashing / rehearsing / worrying

Flutters of fear / anxiety at odd moments / feeling on edge / feeling jumpy / feeling out of control / feeling tense / nervousness / anxiety or panic episodes
Feelings of frustration / inability to define reason for frustration / an awareness that while organized and working hard, you are not producing or accomplishing much.
Waves of anger / feelings of hurt and disappointment / depression /irritability / bad temper
Crying episodes / laughing episodes for no apparent reason.
Altered moods / feeling like you are living in a fog or that there is a cloud or curtain separating you from your life / nagging
Feeling you must always have something to do, you can't sit still and enjoy life


Unconscious foot or finger- tapping / nail biting / scratching picking at body / pacing / restlessness / unnecessary hand waving / wild gestures
Persistent ache "in the center of you"

Eating problems / obesity / anorexia /abdominal pain / diarrhea

Memory and Thought Process
Memory slips / loss or inability to remember familiar names and faces / reduced instant recall / reverie / reliving past experience instead of dealing with the present.
Difficulty concentrating / must continually re-read material both personal and work-related / inattentiveness / shortening of memory or attention span
Foggy thinking / racing thoughts / impaired judgement
Indecisiveness / feeling confused / fear of making decision
The knowledge that "the little problems" you've been experiencing disappear completely when you are absorbed in a movie or something very pleasurable but return immediately when the activity is over.
Attention Deficit

Stress-Related Disorders

General Metabolic Systems
Hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, worsening or triggering of diabetes
Acne, hives, rashes, neurodermatitis
Asthma, bronchitis
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Post-traumatic stress syndrome
Transient situational disturbances
Anxiety and Panic attacks
A general loss of sense of well-being

Musculoskeletal System
Tension headache, Migraine headache
Low, Mid and Upper Back pain, Neck pain
Injuries, accidents and strains

Cardiovascular System
Coronary artery disease
Heart attack
Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Gastrointestinal System
Peptic ulcer disease, gastritis
Ulcerative colitis
Irritable bowel syndrome
Constipation, diarrhea

Immunologic System
Reduced resistance to infection (Colds, flu, viral, parasitic illnesses and other minor illnesses of all sort)
Allergies (All types)
Tumor promotion, benign and malignant

Urinary and Reproductive Systems
Failure to menstruate, excessive menstruation
Fibroid tumors
Premature ejaculation
Bladder and prostate infections

If your are interested in more information about our book Stress-Related Disorders: Illness An Intelligent Act of the Body, click here