What are the
diseases caused by stress and how are these diseases caused by
stress? The effect of stress on the body can have far reaching
effects on each and every system of the body.
The translation of emotional distress to physiological
change, and thence to a physical symptom is known as 'transduction'.
In transduction, a situation is perceived, a meaning is assigned to
it, an emotional response is elicited and a physiological reaction
results. A complex autoimmune, humoral and neuromuscular mechanisms
mediate this reaction, and may itself affect the environment,
generating in turn a social response that may yield either a
positive or negative feedback.
See the diagram to understand the basic effects of stress on various
systems and organs of our body:
Somatization, or conversion of psychological distress into
physical illness, is a very important concept that recognizes that
an emotionally distressed patient more often presents with physical
symptoms than psychological complaints.
Nemiah et al believe that
people who somatize are alexythymic. Meaning, they simply cannot express
feelings in words and must, therefore, resort to expressing them in physical symptoms.
few diseases either induced, sustained or exacerbated by stress are
listed in table .The list is by no means complete. While in some of
these diseases stress is only one among the factors responsible for
the aetio- pathogenesis, in others stress is the main perpetuator.
Thus stress diseases are as varied as there are organs in the body.
A FEW STRESS
diseases like Psoriasis,Lichen
The list is not complete.
Many of the effects of stress
on mind and body are due to increased sympathetic nervous system
activity and an outpouring of adrenaline, cortisol and other
Certain types of chronic and more
insidious stress due to loneliness, poverty, bereavement, depression
and frustration due to discrimination are associated with impaired
immune system resistance to viral linked disorders ranging from the
common cold and herpes to AIDS and cancer.
Stress can have effects on other hormones, brain
neurotransmitters, additional small chemical messengers elsewhere,
prostaglandins, as well as crucial enzyme systems, and metabolic
activities that are still unknown.
Research in these areas
may help to explain how stress can contribute to depression, anxiety
and its diverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract, skin and
Understanding the above concepts are very important
in understanding the diseases caused by stress and to create a plan
of action for the management of stress and stress induced diseases.