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The Effects of Health on Stress

Defining health and stress:
Heath is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury (Webster). Health can
be viewed as anything from being free from illness dealing with the bodys mental condition all
the way to the bodys physical condition. Stress is defined as the state of mental or emotional
strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances (Webster). Different
types of stress wear down all different aspects of your health. These types of stresses can be
broken up into two groups, stresses that effect your physical body and stresses that effect your
mental state.
Stresses on your physical body- Stresses on your physical body can be broken down
into acute and severe stress. Many people experience acute stresses that can lead to a declining
mental health. Acute stress can build up over the years and can range from anything including
things as small as rapid breathing all the way to acute myocardial infarction. Every person goes
through acute stress at some time in their life and is effected by many of the symptoms of acute
stress. Severe stress occurs when acute stress builds up or when a heavy stress occurs at once.
Severe stress contains many similar side effects of acute stress including hypertension,
susceptibility, and heartburn.
Stresses on your mental health- Hormones that effect your mental health are healthy at
certain levels but must be maintained. Stress starts in the brain and effects your mental health
thats created by the brain. Your body produces hormones to balance your mental and physical
body. Your mental body can affect your physical body and vice versa. If you have mental stresses
they can greatly affect the secretion of hormones that put stress on your physical body. Stress on
your physical body can wear down your state of mind. Figure one shows the relation of the stress
controlling hormones in your body.

Figure 1- The relation between different regulatory hormones throughout different

Types of stresses:
Physical stressors The connotation of physical is relating to body, as distinguished
from the mind (Medical Dictionary). Physical stress is only and directly correlated to the state
of your physical body. Stress can deteriorate almost every system in your body. Various activities
stress different systems. Activities as simple as daily walking all the way to mountain biking can
put physical strain on your body. Physical stress only can wear down your mental stamina and
cause hormones to be unbalanced. Because chronically increased or dysregulated allostasis can
lead to disease, we introduced the term allostatic load or overload to refer to the wear and tear
that results from either too much stress or from inefficient management of allostasis (McEwen
and Stellar, 1993; McEwen, 1998; McEwen and Wingfield, 2003). This allostasis overload (AL)
is what really effects your health the most. This allostasis over load can be from your life style
and includes everything from drinking and smoking all the way to bad sleep patterns and eating
too much.

Mental Stressors- Mental resides in the brain. Hormones are what control mental health
and can lead the person from good health to dire health. The hormones including glucocorticoids,
cortisol, and catecholamines all help with controlling stressors and have a huge role in the
fight or flight response (Cannon 1920). Figure 2 shows the relation between socioeconomic
position (SEP), allostatic load (AL), and age.

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