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How Stress Affects Your Health

You're going to have some stress in your life -- we all do, and it's normal. One of the best things you can do for your health is manage that stress, even when you can’t control the source of it.

Some stress can be good. It can be a challenge that keeps us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. But too much stress can make us sick.

If you're constantly under stress, you can have physical symptoms, such as headaches, an upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, and problems with sex and sleep.

Stress can also lead to emotional problems, depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry.

It also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases, research shows. It's not just the stress itself that's the problem. It's how you respond to it.

For instance, if you smoke, use drugs, overeat, gamble, spend too much, or have risky sex, that's going to cause more problems.

If you think your stress is affecting your health, talk to your doctor, so you can start making changes that will be good for your body and your mind.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on October 13, 2014

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