Stress can make your skin sweat, your heart pound, and your mind jumble up… but that’s not all. Here are four other weird things stress can do to your body.
Damage Your Nails
One weird thing stress can do to your body is it can wreck your nails. For some, nail biting is an instinctual stress-reducing habit. Biting your nails gives them a sharp and short appearance and can damage the nail bed and cuticles. That’s not all—your mouth introduces bacteria to the skin around the nail and makes you more prone to infection. On top of that, high levels of cortisol in the body can slow or stop your nails’ growth.
Reduce Your Fertility
Stress can also reduce your fertility—but fortunately, not permanently. When you’re stressed, your body kicks into “fight or flight mode,” and stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol suppress bodily functions that aren’t necessary in times of duress, like your reproductive system. This can affect the menstrual cycle and sperm count, making it significantly harder to conceive.
Make You Eat Poorly
Have you ever noticed that you tend to reach for chips and ice cream more than usual when you’re stressed? There’s a scientific reason for that. When you’re stressed, cortisol levels rise while serotonin levels deplete. Low levels of serotonin make you crave comfort food, like sweets and carbs. When you eat these unhealthy treats, your insulin levels increase, and increased insulin levels encourage your brain to produce more serotonin, giving you a temporary rush of relief.
Give You Stomachaches
Ouch! Where’d all this stomach pain come from? It could be a result of stress. When your body is under stress, your muscles tense up and your intestinal barrier thins and weakens. This can cause all sorts of gastrointestinal problems, including loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, and constipation.
Small bursts of stress are uncomfortable but natural! However, if stress becomes chronic, it can cause all of the above problems and more. If you’re feeling stressed all the time, bring this up with your doctor so that you can work together to find a stress-relieving solution.