Too Much Stress Can Make You Sick Tedra T. Williams Staff Writer (reprinted)
At 6 pm Stephanie Reed said she is at her wit’s end, but her day is really just
beginning. It’s dinnertime at her home in Sarasota, and all hell seems to be
breaking loose before the first piece of bread is broken.
Thirteen-month-old Brittany, stuffed in her high chair, is screaming at the top of
her lungs – but not a tear has been shed. Her six-year old brother is trying to set
the table, but is doing a better job of flooding the floor with the mild Reed just
poured into glasses.
Reed is experiencing what she calls “everyday life in the world of parenting.”
Others might say she’s experiencing a stressful situation that might cause her
a nervous breakdown if she doesn’t cool off. The 32-year-old wife, mother and
bank manager is like millions of people trying to handle all the stresses in their
lives. But hectic lifestyles increase stress levels and can wreak havoc on a
Studies show that stress related illnesses have increased significantly over
the past decade. One such study reported that 89 percent of adults describe
experiencing “high levels of stress”. More than half complained of this at lease
once or twice a week, and more than one in four said it occurred on a daily basis.
As more people seek ways to deal with their stresses, more are turning to
acupuncture as a possible solution. Bary Greenberg, a National Board Certified
Acupuncture Physician, said he has seen his practice expand significantly over
the past few years. “Eighty percent of illnesses seen by primary care doctors are
stress related,” Greenberg said. “We all will have stress in our lives, but it is when
we store that stress in our bodies that we have problems. If you store it, then it
transfers into tension and then it will manifest into a physical problem.”
One of Greenberg’s patients, Jan Love, said that receiving acupuncture treatments
helps her with stress-related headaches. “I have a lot of stress from my personal life,
and that causes severe headaches and neck pains,” Love said. “Acupuncture helps
to get rid of the pain.”
The following are some of the physical problems stress can cause:
*High blood pressure can be influenced and exacerbated by high levels of stress.
*Skin irritations, although they are usually not serious.
*Muscular headaches, in which the pain is behind the eyes or in the back of the neck.
Migraines usually are not related to stress.
*Asthma is caused by allergies, but many health professionals now believe stress
also can be responsible for the disease. Stress can bring about asthma attacks in
those who that suffer from the disease.
*Stress can contribute to irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms can include sever
intestinal gas and diarrhea.