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Is Chronic Stress Affecting Your Health?

Reviewed by Kimberly Cabe, FNP-BC of Forum Health Rochester Hills

Everyone experiences stress at one time or another, but chronic stress and how that stress is perceived, can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. It can instigate feelings of anxiety and overwhelming fear.


As of this past year, nearly 80% of Americans report stress-related health issues. Many are unaware that chronic stress silently deteriorates many aspects of your health, causing immune disorders, hormone imbalances, pain, fatigue, weight gain, and changes to the structure and function of your brain. Amazingly, the effects of stress often go unnoticed until the accumulation manifests as mental or physical exhaustion or burnout. Due to the overall compromised health and chronic disease stress causes, it has often been referred to as “The Silent Killer.”


Here are examples of symptoms and conditions that can result from chronic stress:

  • Decreased concentration Mental or brain fog
  • Decreased memory capacity
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or back pain
  • Blood sugar dysregulation
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Hormonal and thyroid imbalances
  • Weight gain
  • Addiction (smoking, alcohol or drug abuse)
  • GI conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Frequent infections (such as cold or flu)
  • Accelerated aging