Mental Stress Affect Our Bone Density and Blood Sugar Levels
Mental stress does affect our blood sugar levels. For instance, people with type 2 diabetes are especially sensitive to stress. As our body produces high levels of stress hormones, it drives blood sugar levels up.
Everyone deals with different stresses and everyone reacts to stress in different ways. Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, and it reflects signs of stress in a number of different ways, such as acne, psoriasis and eczema flare-ups or even seborrheic dermatitis.
According to Dr. Whitney Bowe, a New York City-based dermatologist and the author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin, there are acute stress and chronic stress. And chronic stress is the more detrimental form of stress.
# Stress hormones and blood sugar
Our immune system is directly affected by stress. Stress releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline into our systems. Adrenaline elevates blood pressure and cortisol increases sugar in the bloodstream, according to the Mayo Clinic. When our body produces too much cortisol, the immune system gets weakened, causing an inflammatory response such as eczema.
Why our emotions affect our blood sugar levels? Negative emotions such as stress, anger, or depression can potentially increase stress-related hormones (e.g. cortisol) in our body. When the body is under severe prolonged stress, the adrenal glands (which are above our kidneys) release certain stress-related hormones such as adrenaline, glucagon, steroids (e.g. growth hormone), and cortisol.
Glucagon and adrenaline trigger more glucose to be released from the liver, while the growth hormone and cortisol cause our body becoming less sensitive to insulin when more glucose is released into our bloodstream and our blood sugar level rises. This may result in a vicious cycle. Further, negative emotions increase our sugar levels. (Reference.)
#Stress leads to dry skin and dehydration
Whenever our body under stress, our fight-or-flight response kicks in, and we experience a spike in adrenaline and cortisol. An increase in adrenaline activates eccrine glands and sweat glands, which cause our body to be dehydrated. As our body thinks it’s under stress, it’s trying to cool itself down. So we need to replenish water more often. That’s why those who have dry skin are more prone to eczema.
# Prolonged stress: Stops producing hair and stops making nails
As stress increases, our body experiences a spike in adrenaline and cortisol. If the stress is persistent and high, it might even lead to hair loss. When our body experiences severe stress, our body stops producing hair, because hair is not crucial for healing or surviving. Our hair often starts shedding after minor stresses.
In times of prolonged stress, our body stops producing hair and stops making nails. Because hairs and nails are not necessary for survival. Thus, when it comes time for the body to distribute energy to promote healing, nails stop growing. Also, nails become brittle or start peeling during times of high stress, according to Science Daily.