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Can stress kill you?

Posted by Vicki on 11/19/2013


  To answer the question, you must understand what stress is and how it affects the body. Stress is a built in mechanism to keep you out of danger. Let’s say an tiger was about to attack you, your body reacts with a jolt of adrenaline/cortisol, that boosts your energy level to allow you to run from the danger. The cortisol is a chemical that has many side effects such as increasing blood pressure,  reducing your ability to fight infections, and causing osteoporosis. Stressful situations at work or home will cause you to release cortisol into your system. Remember, what is stressful to one person may not be stressful to another person, it’s all in how you perceive the given circumstances. Over a prolonged period of time, that cortisol can cause the body to break down and begin to fight itself. Certain diseases are precipitated such as cancers, diabetes, arthritis, and digestive disorders. It is these conditions that eventually can kill you. So, since stress is everywhere, what can you do about it? There is a hormone that offsets the cortisol in your system called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Here are some ways you can increase your ACTH levels and reduce the harsh effects of the cortisol in your body.

  • Listen to music, it has a relaxing effect on the
  • Laugh out loud, it has been shown to release the
    ACTH into your system.
  • Magnesium supplements help reduce the cortisol
    in your body.
  • Cuddle and hug people you love. The physical act
    of touch increases the good hormones.
  • Dance, people who dance regularly have reduced
    cortisol levels in their system.

Generally reducing stress will help, but these activities
will actually increase the body’s ability to offset the stresses that we can’t
get away from.