Madison
54° F
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Advertisement

Headaches can signal you're more stressed than you think

Published On: Jan 31 2013 03:31:42 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 13 2013 11:18:54 AM CST

By Pure Matters

Your body may be giving you clues that you need more time for calm. Here are seven messages to watch for -- and some soothing ways to react.

The occasional manic Monday is a fact of modern life. But if you’re under chronic stress -- suffering a daily assault of stress hormones from a demanding job or personal life -- symptoms may be subtler. Here are some signs that it’s time to take a timeout.

Weekend headaches

A sore jaw can be a sign of teeth grinding, which can be worsened by stress. Ask your dentist about a nighttime mouth guard -- up to 70 percent of people who use one reduce or stop grinding altogether.

Odd dreams

Dreams usually get progressively more positive as you sleep, so you wake up in a better mood than you were in when you went to bed. But when you’re stressed, you wake up more often, disrupting this process and allowing unpleasant imagery to recur all night. Good sleep habits can help prevent this; aim for seven to eight hours a night, and avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.

Bleeding gums

According to a Brazilian analysis of 14 past studies, stressed-out people have a higher risk of periodontal disease. Chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol may impair the immune system and allow bacteria to invade the gums, say researchers. If you’re working long hours and eating dinner at your desk, keep a toothbrush on hand. And protect your mouth by exercising and sleeping more, which will help lower stress.

Itchy skin

A Japanese study of more than 2,000 people found that those with chronic itch were twice as likely to be stressed out as those without the condition. Although an annoying itch problem can certainly cause stress, experts say it’s likely that feeling anxious or tense also aggravates underlying conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

Worse-than-usual allergies

Researchers from the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that allergy sufferers had more symptoms after they took an anxiety-inducing test, compared with when they performed a task that did not make them tense. Stress hormones may stimulate the production of IgE, a blood protein that causes allergic reactions.

Bellyaches

One study of 1,953 men and women found that those experiencing the highest levels of stress were more than three times as likely to have abdominal pain as their more-relaxed counterparts. The exact connection is still unclear, but one theory holds that the intestines and the brain share nerve pathways; when the mind reacts to stress, the intestines pick up the same signal. (If you have frequent bellyaches, see your doc to rule out food allergies, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, or an ulcer.)

If you do need more calm, go for a walk or simply turn off your phone.

Source: http://resources.purematters.com/healthy-mind/stress/more-stressed-than-you-think

Advertisement
  • Marysville Pilchuck school shooting 4

    KOMO

    2 dead in school shooting near Seattle, sources say

    A school shooting has been reported at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, about 35 miles north of Seattle.

  • Craig Spencer

    America's Ebola patients

    An American doctor who was working with Ebola patients in Guinea was been diagnosed with the disease after returning to New York. Learn more about him and America's other Ebola victims.

  • Hot peppers

    Karimala/iStock

    Notable food recalls

    A North Carolina producer of peppers and hot sauces is voluntarily recalling 6,215 pounds of fresh serrano chili peppers because some tested positive for salmonella. Here are other notable food recalls that made headlines.

  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC

    Halloween

    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink

    CDC

    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.

Advertisement