Stress is part of life. Sometimes it’s a positive thing; it gives you the
motivation you need for hitting a deadline or performing your best.
Other times stress can wreak havoc on your body, resulting in
aches, pains and other symptoms.
Sometimes spending time with family – away from your
caregiver responsibilities can help relieve stress.
Adults caring for parents, other family members or friends can face an
extraordinary amount of stress on a daily basis and this stress can be
prolonged and unyielding. It is important that you know some of the
signs that your body exhibits to get your attention – signs that tell you
the stress is having a negative impact on your life.
Muscles and joints
Stress can cause pain, tightness or soreness in your muscles, as well as
spasms of pain. It can lead to flare-ups of symptoms of
arthritis, fibromyalgia and other conditions. That’s because stress
lowers your threshold for pain.
Heart and lungs
Too much of the stress hormone cortisol may make heart and lung
conditions worse. These include heart disease, stroke, high blood
pressure and asthma. If you have pain or tightness in your chest or
heart palpitations, see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out a
Skin and hair
If you have a skin condition such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis, stress
can make it worse. It also can lead to hives and itchiness, excessive
sweating and even hair loss.
Stress really shows in your digestive system — from simpler symptoms
such as pain, gas, diarrhea and constipation to more complex
conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux (GERD).
Shoulders, head and jaw
Doctors call this the “tension triangle.” Stress can trigger tension
headaches, tightness in the neck and jaw, and knots and spasms in
your neck and shoulders. It also may contribute to TMJ, a jaw disorder.
You need a strong immune system to fight disease, but stress weakens
your body’s defenses. It makes you more likely to catch colds or the
flu, for example. It also may make autoimmune conditions such as
lupus and inflammatory bowel disease worse.
Stress can bring on symptoms of depression and reduce your
enthusiasm for activities you usually enjoy — from everyday hobbies
to sex. People also tend to eat poorly and exercise less when stressed,
which only makes symptoms stronger.
You should realize that sometimes you need a break from your
If you are feeling down in the dumps because of caregiver stress it is
not a personal failing. It happens to most of us, so don’t be afraid to
reach out for help. You must know that caregiver stress is natural and,
to deal with it you can talk to your doctor and treat the symptoms or
treat the cause of the problem.
Whatever your needs, BrightStar is your solution for personalized
companion care, non-medical personal care and skilled medical
assistance delivered in the comfort of your home. BrightStar knows the
value and importance of compassion, dignity, and respect for all of our
clients and their families across all stages of life.
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