From head to toe: how stress effects the body

Stress can lead to more than just headaches

Stress — especially long-term stress — can cause real harm to your body. The main culprits are adrenaline and cortisol, which surge when you’re stressed out, whether you’ve just experienced something traumatic or you’re worried about finances or family.

Headaches and fatigue are the most common physical reactions to stress, but there are other ways stress effects the body:


Ever heard of emotional eating? Stress has major effects on appetite. A short burst of stress can cause loss oof appetite, while longer-lasting stress — and higher levels of cortisol in the system, can leave you craving foods high in sugar and fat.

Gastrointestinal issues

Stress can cause acid reflux, bloating, heartburn, gas and other major issues that can lead to ulcers, IBS and gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

Heart Issues

From fast heart rates to inflammation, stress has damaging effects on the heart. If you’re having trouble sleeping, stress and anxiety could be the cause. Other heart issues could lead to a stroke or heart attack.

Brain function

Stress can cause both tension and migraine headaches. Tension headaches are the most common. Tension headaches can be eased by medications, massages, and ice or hot packs.

Hair and skin

We’ve all been stressed enough to “pull our hair out.” But that expression isn’t far from the truth. Not only can stress cause hair loss, but it can also worsen psoriasis and acne.