Can stress make you sick?

United States
August 10, 2010 12:23pm CST
I have had a lot of stress in my life the past year or so and now I have been more sick the past two years than I have ever been. I have been to so many doctors for stomach issues and extreme headaches, they can't find anything wrong with me. It is very upsetting because I just can't believe there is nothing wrong with me. Can stress really cause to feel sick everyday?
2 people like this
29 responses
@Memnon (2173)
11 Aug 10
Definitely. This happens to me periodically. It seems to manifest itself in stomach issues for me, but not normally headaches. I usually find that any call centre contact starts a mood swing too, as 90% of the time it is impossible to get the service that you require.
• United States
15 Aug 10
I know what you mean about customer service it is so lacking these days that is for sure. As soon as I start watching news of any sort, I automatically feel it in my stomach, so now I avoid the news because it makes me sick.
@Memnon (2173)
15 Aug 10
That's not good about the news. May be a chat with your doctor. Take care!
@Angelgirl16 (2177)
• United States
11 Aug 10
Hi aurorastorm, Stress can not only make you sick, it can kill you. Stress can reek havoc on your entire immune system, which then allow your body to breakdown, not being able to fight off any infections. When ever you have weak areas in the body, that gives way for chronic dieases to move right in and make themselve at home. We all have stress, in one way or another it is part of our lives, but some of us have too much stress from worrying about life's situations. Some caused by us and some we cannot do anything about. The first that we must to is realize the source that is causing our stress. Sometime we may even need professional help to get our stress under control. More times than not, we will have to seek help but most of us don't think it is necessary. We don't realized the damage stress in doing to our heart and other vital organs. Find the source and manage it or completely get rid of it.
• United States
15 Aug 10
Angelgirl16- I agree with what you said, and I probably do need to seek help, but keep putting if off for some reason. Some of the stress is my fault because I am a type A personality and some of the stress is out of my control. I know I really need to let the stress that is out of my control out of my mind, because there is not a lot I can do about it.
• United States
15 Aug 10
Hi aurorastorm, Do what you can about what is in your control, then give some thought to how to decrease or eliminate the rest. Good Luck
@choconut (298)
• Philippines
11 Aug 10
absolutely yes! Because if you're stressed out most of the time, your body can't adapt to the changes in the normal way, so they adapt hastily and that leads to having your immune system dropping and then sickness. you should rest and relax once in a while to give your body a chance to regenerate itself. It's best if you could sleep 7-8hrs a day for your body to regenerate properly and then your body will gain its strength and immune system back. And also eat lots of healthy foods. God bless. (",)
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Aug 10
Choconut- Thank you for this response. I am actually going to try and lay down now. My husband and son are outside. House is very quiet right now. Are there certain foods that can help your immune system?
@choconut (298)
• Philippines
15 Aug 10
eat green-leafy vegetables, and fruits because they're rich in vitamins and minerals. Go for a healthy diet (food plan) for example, eating steamed chicken rather than fried chicken, because its much healthier when its steamed, rather than fried wherein its coated with all those bad oils. You could also take vitamin supplements (multivitamins, that are rich in vitamin C and B-complex for immune booster). And drink water a lot, and take a rest once in a while. God bless (",)
• United States
10 Aug 10
Yes stress is the main cause for many illness and diseases, I too have headaches and stomach problems on a daily basis. There isn't a day that I do not have headaches. My vision is also being affected these days as well. From one stressed out person to another we have to learn how to take it easy although it is better said then done.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 10
hardworkinggurl-I often wonder if I won the lottery would all of this not feeling good just magically disappear? What do you do for the headaches? are you taking medicine. I hate to take something everyday, hate always feeling sick when everyone else seems to feel perfectly fine. I wish less stress and more health for both of us in the near future.
• United States
14 Aug 10
That certainly would alleviate a lot of the stress. There isn't a day that I do not take Excedrin. It is the only thing that helps. I hate that I use so many but nothing else helps. Although there are days that I take twice or maybe three times that day and still headache lingers for three days straight. I wish the same for both of us as well. Thanks hon, have a wonderful weekend pursay.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 10
Yes, stress can literally be a KILLER, so whatever your stresses are, try to alleviate them as much as possible. Sometimes going on an anti-anxiety med will help with some of the stress too, as well as exercise and eating right. Stress can lead to stroke, heart conditions, depression, ulcers, migraines. So while you may be physically healthy otherwise, stress will still take its toll.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 10
ksmusselman- all of the above I have recently except for ulcers. I did not know stress could cause all of this. I have been very bad about exercising and I know that will help. The biggest stress I have right now is financial and I know that is not as easy to make go away right now unfortunately.
• United States
14 Aug 10
I hear you on that and I'm right with you. That's one of my biggest stresses right now too and it's not easy to deal with, especially in today's economy. Just keep looking for things you know how to do that people will pay you do and it might start bringing in some much needed cash. :-)
@ladym33 (11008)
• United States
10 Aug 10
Yes it can. My husband went to the hospital with stomach pains when he was in college, they never did find anything wrong with him, but he was really stressed out about school and it was causing his stomach to hurt. When we are under a lot of stress we usually don't eat right and we usually don't sleep well. This can cause stomach aches and headaches because if our bodies are not well balanced they will let us know. My advice to you is to make sure you are well hydrated as hydration can cause head aches, make sure you are eating a well balanced diet, and drink a glass of milk before bed to help you sleep and find ways to deal with your stress like taking short walks or doing a little light yoga and trying to find the good in situations and reflecting on happier times. I am sure when you get your body back in balance you will begin to feel better.
@megabiz (185)
• United States
10 Aug 10
Yoga! HMM! I need to try that. I am one that gets stomach cramps. My sleeping pattern is way off and I don't have much of an apatite. I'm going to take you up on the walking, yoga and that glass of milk before bed time. I do need to reflect on happier times as I am not very happy these days and haven't been in a few years. Thank you for giving this mylotter and others good advice. ~HERE'S TO FINDING HAPPINESS WITHIN OURSELVES~ :)
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 10
I have recently tried accupuncture, but so far it has not been helping. I would love to try yoga but need to research a place to try it at. I think the stress of not feeling good, makes me stress out because I feel like something is more wrong with me than just stress.
@laura27 (74)
• United States
11 Aug 10
Stress most definitely can make you sick. With all the stress related illnesses can have you at risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Be careful cause it can be a silent killer. Try to learn deep breathing solutions and meditation. Right now high blood pressure is on the rise more than it ever been and its not only affecting adults, younger people are at risk of getting it as starting from age 10 or 11 on up. I Hope you get better and stop stressing.
• United States
15 Aug 10
Meditation is definitely something I want to try. The deep breathing is good to but when I am really stressed I forget to breath at all, lol. I have high blood pressure for the first time in my life, it use to be low and this also stresses me out.
@orevro (716)
• Philippines
11 Aug 10
try to relax once in a while. Stress can really really make you sick. You're body is telling you that it needs to relax, the evidence is already showing, headaches and stomach issues have already started, next you'll have other complications just because you didn't take time to relax. do stuff which makes you feel at ease :) read a book, get a massage, go to a spa, take a long relaxing bath.. make time for yourself, you are worth it!! :)
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 10
It is really hard for me to relax. My mind is always on my worries or the next thing I have to do. I do however enjoy writing on this website and some other sites, it is a good outlet and it quiets my mind, because I have to concentrate on the task at hand. Your suggestions are good, I just need to find more things that put myself at ease, that has always been a problem of mine.
@madteaparty (2763)
• Japan
11 Aug 10
I have been in a similar situation because of stress, but the doctors would just ignore that I was stressed, no matter how many times I stated it. I wonder why some doctors are so much against helping people. Because of it the headaches and stomach aches were constant, I felt really depressed all of the time, very tired, and some other health problems appeared. Since I got rid of the source of stress my body has become very healthy. If you can find a way to release your stress, or distance yourself a little from the source of it, it would be great
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 10
That is exactly the same with me. The more health problems that occur, the more I stress about what is wrong with me. The big stress right now is lack of money to pay bills. Cannot get rid of it so easily, but maybe you are right and there is a way to just distance myself from it a little bit.
@carpediem17 (1317)
• Singapore
11 Aug 10
hi aurorastorm - stress definitely can make one unwell. I remember I was so stressed at work that I developed a lockjaw without realising that the stress has contributed somewhat to it. It also causes tense muscles and one may be in constant pain or having aches - back or headache. Learn to de-stress by taking time off from the 'stress point'. Go for sports like swimming or a workout. Try to put things in perspective and maybe things may improve.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 10
I really am trying to get a grip on putting things into perspective, it could always be worse, but it could be a lot better too. Wishing for some better days. Exercise seems to be the one advice people keep telling me, so starting today I am going to pledge to start exercising. I know it can only help me.
@lulu1220 (1010)
• United States
11 Aug 10
Yes it can. The more stressed I am the more headaches I get. I am really stressed right now and I have had these horrible headaches for a while. I have had a few good days, but more bad ones.
• United States
15 Aug 10
I am so glad to be able to have this outlet to discuss things like this with other people. I never realized how much stress can do to your body. Sometimes the stress is not even in the forefront of my mind but I still am feeling sick. The headaches to me are worse than the stomach issues, because it makes it harder to function. I wish for both of us better days with less pain.
@anncherry (406)
• Philippines
11 Aug 10
It certainly can! I have this aunt who almost always finds stress in everything--may it be the news on tv or the stray cats making a fuss on the roof, or the leftover food even! Ever since I've live with her, I always hear her complaining about aches and pains, or the possibility that she has an illness of some sort at this part of her body. I try to tell her that the root cause of her worries is her habit of finding stress in everything. But she can't seem to change it though. Maybe some habits are really hard to break once you become as old as she is...
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Aug 10
I think unfortunately I am a lot like your aunt. I don't even watch the news because I know it stresses me out. I keep saying I only have the big money stress, but your post made me remember how much I worry about all of the smaller stuff on a daily basis. I even worry when it is a thunderstorm in the summer, pretty crazy.
@2855994 (127)
• United States
11 Aug 10
Yes, stress can make you feel sick. I used to live a very stressful life when I was working a full time job, raising kids, and on the verge of divorce. I was always under a doctor's care for one sickness after the other. One day, a light bulb came on in my head and I left my stressful job, and eventually left my stressful marriage. I saw a big change in my health. Now, I am no longer on any kinds of medication and working from home. Life got better when the stress went away.
• United States
13 Aug 10
I need that lightbulb so desperately right now. I do not love my job, but I don't think that it really stresses me out. Money issues are really the root of 95% of my daily stress. Not so easy to change, but am working on it. Your post is very inspirational to me. You made major changes and saw the light at the end of the tunnel, so that gives me hope that it can be done.
@yiyun_h (183)
• United States
10 Aug 10
i believe stress can make you sick, and illness also make people feel stressed, or depressed. also i would say be very careful with seeing doctors. they usually make this kind of condition worse, as they have no clue what is the real cause, or if they do, they don't have solution.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 10
You are so right about doctors. I have been prescribed medication that has made me feel more sick than what I am currently dealing with. I think unless something is blatantly obvious they cannot figure out your pain. I really wish there was someone I could go to that could help me. It is no fun to live life this way.
@mitply83 (68)
10 Aug 10
Stress can definitely make you feel ill and sick. I have had moments over the past three years when I have had real problems with stress. During those periods I really struggled to sleep and was always worn out. As well as that I felt really listless and couldn't do anything. If you have a headache one of the best ways to deal with it is going for a walk in the fresh air.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 10
That is the thing I really need to do, when I get these headaches all I want to do is lay down in my bed. Difficult to live your life while laying in bed. I really need to exercise, I think it is imperative at this stage of the game, but I always have some kind of excuse like being too busy, but if I am being truthful, I am sure I could make the time.
@megabiz (185)
• United States
10 Aug 10
Yes, I believe it can as I have stress and depression everyday. I have had it for four years now. It has caused me to have very bad migraines every month. I even have started two years go with stomach trouble too. I'm only in my young 40's and due to a hysterectomy in my young 30's I no longer have the month to month deal. But due to the stress, I have a lot cramping and diarrhea every morning for an hour after I wake up. I'm only 109 Lbs and feel so,so bloated all the time. I have developed last year Osteoarthritis. The doctor did say that it was due to stress and to much sodas. Now I am on medication, Citalopram for depression and stress. It really helps. I don't know what I would do with out it. Before taking this, I was horrible to be around. A huge nag, grouch and yelling all the time. Not anymore. I would get a second opinion if I were you. Having stress and extreme headaches, your body is telling you there is something wrong. I'm now also having to take Ibuprofen 80mgs for my migraines. ~PRAYING FOR YOU TO HAVE BETTER HEALTH SOON~ :)
• United States
13 Aug 10
Megabiz- Thank you so much for your post. Reading this makes me feel better. I feel so alone sometimes and that no one really understand how bad I feel everyday. After reading all these posts, I am going to call my doctor on Monday and go in again and tell him there has to be something else wrong or something I can take to make this better. I am already on an anti-anxiety medication, but I don't even know if it is helping or not.
• United States
10 Aug 10
I know from personal experience that stress can make a person sick. My husband has Type 2 diabetes and lately his blood sugar has been high. His boss only allows him to work 3 hours a day and dumps about 6 hours of work on him. He has tried to explain that he needs more time, but his boss says that there is no money in th budget. Well, a fulltime person quit and he has hired two new people (fulltime) and he says that there is no money in the budget. I know with my health I have been borderline depression and am trying to find ways to keep busy so I cannot get depressed.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 10
That is the thing you can't just get rid of stress, even when you know it is making you feel terrible. I hope things get better for you both soon.
• United States
10 Aug 10
Yes stress can make you very sick and i know first hand cause I suffer now from many stomach issues and trust me its bad, my doctor told me years ago what ever is stressing you, you need to get rid of. It can not only make you sick but it can kill you forreal. You have to find other ways of coping with daily stress, stress in general. When im stressing I can start feeling sick immediatley, stomach aches etc,.. but if you continue to have stomach issues deffinatley get checked again, Good Luck
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 10
I am seeing a gastro doctor for my stomach. Right now the big issue is headaches everyday. I worry that it is something more than stress related but they don't seem to be able to figure out what is wrong with me. Even though we know we need to get rid of stress, there is some stress that you can't just get rid of so easily like the lack of money one, that ways heavily on me everyday.
• United States
10 Aug 10
The mind can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be an awful thing. it is the central nervous system for the entire body. if you can understand this, then you could understand why anything that affects the brain will affect the body. Stress is just one of those things that can affect everything in your body without you realizing it at first. it could be a subconscious reaction to something, as i have experienced many times. Try to do something relaxing like yoga, or take a hot bath. Taking simple steps to relive your stress will ultimately improve your overall health. Just make sure you aren't stressing about crunching in relaxation time, do it when you have no other plans for a day. should help a little, if not cure the problem. Good luck!
• United States
13 Aug 10
wickedspies- thank you for responding, I have been feeling sick everyday for awhile and even when I try to de-stress I still feel sick. Sometimes I wonder if the doctors are missing something it does not make sense to me to feel this sick everyday. The mind is very hard to change as far a trying to not stress out. The best thing I do is lay down and read a book, but I can't spend the rest of my life laying down, lol.
@natnickeep (2340)
• United States
10 Aug 10
I have heard that stress can really pay a toll on your immune system which would make you get sick more often. I know it can also lead to other issues. Like high blood pressure and what not. Stress can make you feel some major fatigue. Sometimes you have to figure out how to find more balance and how to lower your work load. You might just have too much to handle. So in this case you may need to drop a few tasks, and even ask for some help from friends or family. It's not so easy to drop things sometimes I am saying. Especially if you are a parent. Make sure you are getting enough rest, exercise and water this will help your stress level also. Try some yoga or meditation or something. Some things work for some people and some don't. Good Luck with your stress and health issues Aurorastorm : )
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 10
It really is taking it's toll on me. I have been trying to do a lot to reduce the stress, but the biggest sressor that I just can't make go away is the pressure of not being able to pay the bills. Even when I try to put it to the back of my mind it is still back there, and I think that is a big part of my issues. Lack of sleep also does take a toll and I need to work on that as well.