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What health problems can long-term stress cause?

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When stress becomes long-term and is not properly addressed, it can lead to a number of more serious health conditions, including:

  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heartburn, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome
  • Upset stomach -- cramps, constipation, and diarrhea
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Fertility problems
  • Flare-ups of asthma or arthritis
  • Skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis

From: Causes of Stress WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Psychological Association: "Mind/Body Health: Stress."

Orth-Gomer, K. ; 2000. The Journal of the American Medical Association

Orth-Gomer, K. , 2009. Circulation

National Ag Safety Database: "Stress Management for the Health of It."

National Women's Health Information Center: "Stress and Your Health."

American Psychological Association: "Stress in America."

CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: "Stress ... At Work."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on March 11, 2018

SOURCES:

American Psychological Association: "Mind/Body Health: Stress."

Orth-Gomer, K. ; 2000. The Journal of the American Medical Association

Orth-Gomer, K. , 2009. Circulation

National Ag Safety Database: "Stress Management for the Health of It."

National Women's Health Information Center: "Stress and Your Health."

American Psychological Association: "Stress in America."

CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: "Stress ... At Work."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on March 11, 2018

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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