If I asked you now to rate your level of stress from one to 10, what number would you pick? If you have a lot going on in your life you may rank your stress level above five. If you feel calm you may rank it below five. But if you’ve been ignoring these symptoms of stress, you could be scoring yourself all wrong.
5 Uncommon symptoms of stress
Worsened allergies: Allergies can vary based on indoor and outdoor triggers. They can leave you stuffed up, with a runny nose, itchy eyes and miserable overall. Depending on what you’re allergic to, the more of the allergen you’re surrounded by the more of a reaction you will have. But did you know that your stress can also make your allergy symptoms worse?
An experiment from Ohio State University College of Medicine uncovered that allergy-sufferers had an increase in allergy symptoms after they took an anxiety-induced test. Researchers noted that stress-induced hormones may be the reason for the increase in allergy symptoms. So the next time you’re plagued by your allergies, and there isn’t a change in pollen in the air, it may be a sign to cool down and de-stress.
Bleeding gums: Oral hygiene isn’t just important for your pearly whites. A Brazilian study showed that people who were stressed-out had higher rates of periodontal disease.
Stress wreaks havoc on your body, this much we know, and with a weakened immune system in particular it increases the risk of infection. This gives bacteria a better opportunity to infect gums, which can result in bleeding and disease. Always ensure you’re practicing proper oral hygiene techniques such as brushing and flossing, especially after meals. Reduce your stress levels so your body can help fight off infection, too.
Sore jaw: Some of us may grind our teeth when we sleep, but this trend increases as stress adds up. A sore jaw is a symptom of stress. When we get tense, we tend to grind our teeth or clench our jaw. If you’re waking up in the morning with an achy jaw, speak with your dentist about getting a night-guard mouthpiece.This will help alleviate the pain.
Weekend headaches: You would think that if you’re going to experience headaches it would occur when you’re busiest – during the week. But experiencing headaches or migraines on the weekend can be a symptom of stress.
According to Washington University Headache Center, when stress drops – usually by the weekends where we have less to worry about – it can prompt headaches and migraines. Maintain your regular sleep schedule you can reduce your weekend headaches.
Sugar-cravings: Some of us believe we were born with a sweet tooth and simply can’t say no to sugary treats. But if
you’re stressed, you’re more likely to reach for these sweet food items. University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted surveys among pre- and post-menopausal women and found that there was only a slight drop of chocolate cravings after menopause. Hormones can’t be blamed when it comes to sweet cravings. Instead, researchers suggested that stress was linked to sweet cravings.
Although dark chocolate, in particular, can offer health benefits it’s best to enjoy it in moderation. Also, to avoid the added weight gain from sugary food, opt for nutritious snacks instead.
Many of these symptoms can easily be overlooked and not readily associated with stress. If you experience any of these symptoms, take the time to evaluate what’s going on in your life. It may be time to work on reducing your stress.
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