Are you stressed out? - These are the signs


Basically, stress is characterized by increased physical activation. After a few days, there are stress-related changes in the organism. This manifests itself in an increased growth of the adrenal cortex and a reduced immune defense.

  • If the stress-inducing factor persists, the alarm reaction goes into the adaptation phase, which is characterized by increased tolerance (Resistance phase).
  • However, this acquired adaptation is limited in time and turns into the symptoms of the exhaustion phase, in which the organism experiences lasting and sometimes irreversible damage.

Thus, if the body is not given the all-clear by changing or leaving the "stressful" situation, the stress hormones are not broken down and the symptoms of physical tension remain.

Also read our topic: How can you reduce stress?

Typical symptoms of stress

  • Difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness
  • nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • irritability
  • Dissatisfaction or excessive demands
  • insomnia
  • dizziness
  • Loss of drive, exhaustion and tiredness
  • Palpitations and / or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweats
  • Dry mouth
  • hoarseness
  • a headache
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Muscle tension and / or muscle twitching
  • stomach pain
  • skin rash
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • heartburn
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Loss of libido or sexual dysfunction
  • Hair loss
  • Changed eating behavior with increased or decreased appetite
  • Changed addictive behavior (alcohol consumption, nicotine consumption)
  • Increased susceptibility to infections due to a weakening of the immune system
  • high blood pressure
  • depression
  • Burnout

Also read the article on the topic: Stressors

Palpitations / arrhythmia

Stress can lead to certain types of irregular heartbeat. We are talking about so-called extrasystoles. These are extra heart beats that are perceived by those affected as stumbling the heart. These extra beats of the heart are in the vast majority of cases completely harmless, but they are usually uncomfortable for the person concerned.

A doctor should be consulted if symptoms such as dizziness or shortness of breath occur in the course of heart stumbling or if the extrasystoles persist for a long time. Using a (long-term) ECG, the doctor can then determine whether or not it is a cardiac arrhythmia that requires treatment.

Other - more serious - cardiac arrhythmias cannot be caused solely by stress. In people who already suffer from an arrhythmia, however, stress can provoke or trigger its occurrence. Atrial fibrillation is an example of such a cardiac arrhythmia.

Find out more at:

  • Heart and circulatory problems
  • Racing heart
  • Recognize an abnormal heart rhythm

High blood pressure during stress

Psychological and physical stress lead to increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system in the human body. In an acute stress reaction, this leads to a short-term increase in blood pressure.

But even chronic stress can lead to a permanent increase in blood pressure via this mechanism. The term stress-induced hypertension is specifically used to describe the influence of stress on blood pressure. Studies have shown that many employees have normal blood pressure values ​​in their private lives and when taking measurements in the doctor's office, whereas their blood pressure values ​​at work are too high. One then speaks of masked hypertension. A study with over 4,000 subjects showed that every second person aged 45 and over has high blood pressure values ​​at work.

High blood pressure is a widespread disease which, if not treated, harbors numerous risk factors. If blood pressure is permanently elevated, the risk of diseases such as heart attacks and strokes increases. Therefore, the detection and treatment of stress-induced hypertension is essential. In the treatment, stress reduction or stress management plays a decisive role. Antihypertensive medication only comes second in stress-induced high blood pressure.

For more detailed information, see: High blood pressure

Difficulty breathing due to stress

Shortness of breath is a typical symptom of a panic attack. Initially, the heart rate increases. Those affected often experience this as threatening. The fear increases and the breathing becomes faster and deeper. This causes more carbon dioxide to be exhaled. This is also called hyperventilation and within minutes leads to symptoms such as dizziness, tingling sensations in the mouth and fingers and an increasing feeling of shortness of breath.

Breathing changes can occur not only in full-blown panic attacks but also in stressful situations. This can lead to a subjective feeling of shortness of breath or the feeling of not being able to breathe properly. If the symptoms recur, a doctor should be considered to rule out any organic causes. In addition to reducing or coping with stress, learning about various relaxation methods can also be used therapeutically.

Learn more at:

  • Panic attack
  • Shortness of breath - what's behind it?

Back pain with stress

Stress leads to physical excitement by activating the sympathetic system. As part of this physical excitement, there is increased tension in the muscles. You are most likely to notice this tension in the jaw area and shoulder girdle.

In the area of ​​the back, the acute tension often goes unnoticed at first. If the stress persists, there is permanent increased tension in the back muscles and thus inevitably tensions which are noticeable through pain.

A decisive measure in therapy is a change in lifestyle, especially when working in the office. This aggravates the back problems. Therefore, getting up regularly and doing short back exercises during working hours can help relax the muscles. Regular exercise is a must.
Warmth can also help in the acute stage. However, it is also crucial to learn how to deal with stress better so that it does not repeatedly turn into physical symptoms.

Also read:

  • Back pain
  • a headache
  • Grinding teeth

Abdominal pain from stress

Mental or emotional events hit the stomach. This phrase doesn't exist for free. Psychological or physical stress often leads to gastrointestinal complaints. These can be varied. From abdominal pain to nausea to gas, diarrhea or constipation.
Also read: Vomiting from stress

In addition, psychological distress can manifest itself either as a loss of appetite or, on the contrary, as a food cravings. An empty stomach and too fast and too much food intake also lead to abdominal pain.

For the treatment of stress-related abdominal pain, of course, stress reduction comes first. However, herbal medicines such as Iberogast® used to calm the gastrointestinal tract.

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  • Cravings
  • Loss of appetite

Stomach pain from stress

As described in the previous section, stress often leads to symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract. Abdominal and stomach pain can be the result. The symptoms can appear at different times.Some people who are exposed to a high level of stress complain of abdominal pain every day, others only suffer from the symptoms when there is acute stress.

First of all, it is important to rule out other possible causes of the stomach pain. If stomach pain persists for weeks or months, a doctor should be consulted. This can decide which further diagnostics are necessary. Stress is a so-called exclusion diagnosis. Before the stomach pain is assessed as stress-related, all other significant - physical - causes must be ruled out. Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to take gastric acid-reducing tablets or even a gastroscopy.

This could also be of interest to you: Home remedies for stomach pain, vomiting due to stress

Stress rash

Some people who are very excited about tasks such as lectures in front of an audience or exams suddenly get red spots on their face and cleavage area. After the stressful situation, the spots disappear as quickly as they appeared.

This is just one of the examples of skin rashes that can be caused by mental stress. Stress-related rashes can look very different. They can appear with or without itching and persist for hours and days or go away in minutes.

It is also known that stress is a trigger for hives (urticaria). Stress reduction and stress avoidance are the most important therapeutic approaches.

Further information can be found at: Stress rash

Diarrhea and indigestion during stress

Symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract often arise in the context of physical or emotional stress. Whether this shows up as diarrhea or constipation varies from person to person.

In order to counteract these complaints, coping with stress comes first. Changing your eating habits can also be helpful. In this way, situations in which an increased level of stress is expected can be prevented with small, low-fat and low-fiber meals.

There are also various herbal remedies available for treating gastrointestinal complaints. Iberogast® is an example here. Medicines can also be purchased to counteract acute diarrhea. However, they should not be taken in the case of gastrointestinal infections and not permanently. Imodium® is an example here.

Further interesting information on this topic can be found at: Diarrhea from stress

You can also find out more at:

  • diarrhea
  • constipation

Gastrointestinal ulcer due to stress

The development of gastrointestinal ulcers has various causes, such as bacterial colonization of the gastric mucosa, overuse of painkillers or nicotine / alcohol abuse.

But stress can also cause gastrointestinal ulcers. One then speaks of a stress-induced ulcer. In this context, however, stress is not primarily intended to be psychological but primarily physical stress. A body can develop gastrointestinal ulcers in the course of a serious surgical procedure, a shock, a serious accident or sepsis, i.e. situations that are associated with an extremely high level of stress.

Mental stress, on the other hand, as it arises, for example, when there is a strong mental stress at the workplace, cannot cause gastrointestinal ulcers on its own. Several factors must come together here in order to be able to cause such an ulcer. Mental stress alone is not the only cause of gastrointestinal ulcers, but it is a risk factor.

Learn more at:

  • Gastric ulcer
  • Irritable stomach
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • heartburn

Erectile dysfunction due to stress

An erectile dysfunction, also called erectile dysfunction can affect men of all ages.

It can be organic, but also psychological. Stress plays a decisive role in the psychological causes. Whether it is stress at work, in a relationship or with the family is irrelevant. A vicious circle often arises because the person concerned is very afraid that the erectile dysfunction will recur. Erectile dysfunction is often a one-off event.

If it occurs more frequently, a urologist should rule out organic causes to be on the safe side.

Read more about this under: Erection problems

Hair loss due to stress

Both physical and psychological stress can trigger hair loss. Chronic psychological stress, in particular, is a risk factor for hair loss. Stress-related hair loss is usually a diffuse hair loss - that is, it is distributed over the entire scalp.

The onset of hair loss is often much later than the time when the stress started. Often there are 2-3 months between the onset of stress and hair loss. It has to do with the hair cycle.

Before a diagnosis of stress-related hair loss is made, other causes, such as hormone metabolism disorders, thyroid disorders or deficiency symptoms, should be ruled out.

The most important measure is stress reduction. Once the stress has subsided, it takes time, due to the hair cycle, for the hair to grow again. It can take six to nine months for the hair that has fallen out to start growing back.

You can find more useful information at: Homeopathy for hair loss as a result of emotional distress and stress

Weakened immune system during stress

It is known that chronic stress weakens the immune system. The body's own immune system is responsible, among other things, for the defense against germs that have penetrated from the outside.

A weakened immune system becomes noticeable through an increased susceptibility to infection. This can be shown, for example, by the fact that a person with a weakened immune system suffers more often from common colds. But more serious bacterial, viral and fungal diseases can also occur more frequently in such people. Existing underlying diseases such as bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular diseases can also worsen if the immune system is weakened.

While chronic stress weakens the immune defense, the opposite happens interestingly with acute stress: Certain parts of the immune system tend to be strengthened during acute stress and lead to a strengthened immune defense in some areas.

Read on below: Strengthen your immune system

Burnout and depression from stress

Burnout and depression are two different illnesses, but they are often equated. In the current classification, however, burnout is not coded as an independent clinical picture. While burnout usually has a context - namely a chronic overburdening in working life - depression is in many cases context-free. It mostly affects and includes all areas of daily life and is not limited to the professional area.

Burnout can, however, also be accompanied by depression. In most cases, burnout is caused by chronic stress in combination with an experience of being overwhelmed and a lack of recognition of the work performed.

Stress can also play a role in depression. However, the interplay between psychosocial and biological factors is extremely complex and is still the subject of much research.
However, it can be assumed that chronic stress that cannot be managed well can represent a risk factor for the development of depression.

Find out more at:

  • burnout
  • Depression - What Are The Signs?
  • Consequences of stress

Bleeding gums

In most cases, bleeding gums are caused by inflammation around the teeth. It is discussed whether stress can be rated as a risk factor for the development of bleeding gums.

  • On the one hand, prolonged physical or emotional stress reduces the immune system, so that gingivitis and bleeding gums occur more quickly.
  • On the other hand, it has been shown that dental care is neglected in stressful times, which in turn promotes plaque accumulation and the tendency of the gums to bleed.

Although stress is not the direct trigger for bleeding gums, a high level of stress increases the likelihood of it occurring.
However, bleeding gums are not a typical stress symptom.

Learn more at: Bleeding gums from stress

Cold sores and shingles from stress

Cold sores is one of the widespread diseases, as around 90% of the population are carriers of the herpes simplex virus type 1, although not all of them show the typical vesicles. Therapy can be carried out, but often nothing is necessary.

It is well known that stress is one of the main triggers of cold sores. The causative agents of the cold sore are permanently present in the body. Acute as well as chronic stress inhibit important tasks of the defense against viruses. This makes it easier for the existing herpes viruses to multiply in stressful situations, since the body does not have sufficient defense. Blistering occurs in the area of ​​the lips, which heals again after a few days.

Shingles is a disease that is independent of cold sores. It is caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella). If a person has chickenpox once in his life, the viruses stay in the body. If the immune system is weakened, for example due to stress, they can multiply again and lead to shingles (herpes zoster).

Nowadays, vaccination against chickenpox is recommended, so it can be assumed that the prevalence of shingles will decrease significantly over the next few decades.

Read on under:

  • Cold sore
  • Shingles

Tinnitus with stress

The assumption that stress is a classic trigger for tinnitus is widespread. However, it is controversial among experts whether stress is actually a direct trigger or just one of several risk factors for the development of tinnitus. Many sufferers describe that an already existing ringing in the ear increases or noticeably comes to the fore in situations with a high level of stress.
Tinnitus is therefore not one of the typical stress symptoms.

More about this under: Tinnitus - You should know that

Dizziness from stress

Dizziness is a very unspecific symptom that can occur in the context of numerous illnesses, but also without a tangible illness. The causes are varied.

The lack of fluids is one of the most common and harmless causes. This in turn can lead to low blood pressure, which in turn can cause dizziness. Dizziness occurs relatively often in the context of physical and psychological stress. It can only last a few seconds, but it can also occur in the longer term in the sense of general uncertainty.

In an acute situation it can be helpful to sit down or lie down and have a drink. In the long term, however, it should be checked to what extent the triggering stress can be reduced.

Read more about this under: Dizziness from stress

Epistaxis during stress

Stress is suspected to be a possible trigger for nosebleeds. As part of an acute stress reaction, various messenger substances are released. These can cause the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to rise. High blood pressure, on the other hand, is often a trigger for nosebleeds. However, nosebleeds are not one of the defining symptoms of stress.


Symptoms of stress manifest themselves in heart and circulatory problems such as high blood pressure, palpitations and breathing difficulties. Pain such as headache, neck pain, back pain and joint pain can also arise.

In the gastrointestinal tract, stress causes symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, gastric pressure, stomach irritation, irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. You may experience poor appetite or cravings.

When sleeping, sleep disorders such as falling asleep and sleeping out or sleeping through the night can occur.

Other symptoms of stress may include dizziness. Dizziness is a very non-specific symptom and has many different causes.

In addition, uncontrollable symptoms such as twitching and muscle cramps can occur. Stress can also cause allergies and skin irritations. Those affected often complain of difficulty concentrating, mental blocks, forgetfulness, word finding problems and easy irritability.

Nail biting, teeth grinding and difficulty swallowing are also frequently observed. There is restlessness, restlessness and nervousness. Chronic fatigue, listlessness, sexual problems and erectile dysfunction are also evident.

Mental symptoms often show up in not being able to switch off mentally, feeling controlled by others, feeling helpless, overwhelmed and trapped, or like being trapped in a hamster wheel.

The patients are irritable and sometimes show aggressive behavior. They are often dissatisfied and listless, sometimes listless. Those affected are anxious, they often fear that they will no longer be able to cope with the demands of their jobs and that they will be dismissed. They often have anger and anger about themselves and about the decreasing psychological and emotional resilience. They are often depressed because they have doubts about themselves and their abilities and they don't know how to improve their symptoms.

Chronic stress leads to the following symptoms, such as insulin resistance and thus diabetes, worsening or even doubling of relapses in multiple sclerosis, increased risk of prostate cancer, increased risk of breast cancer, increased risk of Alzheimer's and increased mortality from cardiovascular (Heart and vascular system ) Diseases.

You might also be interested in: Consequences of stress

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