How Can Stress Destroy Your Body?

“Stress” is an engineering word that refers to loading a system. In Static systems, like beams, columns, etc., it is measured in units of deflection (bending). When the bending, or elastic, limit is exceeded, the result is “strain” or breaking of fibers, etc. Same with tendons and muscles.

In the body, stress induces inflammation, and many (all?) diseases are believed to result from chronic inflammation. Any injury, irritation of infection causes stress and inflammation. It is the immune system’s first response to infection, but it is short-lived. Long-term stress may result in chronic inflammation, and I believe that long term inflammation is what causes arteriosclerosis. Warmed blood makes cholesterol “sticky” and it can’t hold as much calcium as normal temp. blood, so it precipitates calcium in the warmed area. Calcium hardens the sticking cholesterol, causing “artery hardening” or plaque.

Inflammation: “…In the last two decades, accumulating evidence indicated that severe or prolonged (chronic) stress resulted in increased risk for physical and psychiatric disorders, which is called stress-related disease. Stress is the common risk factor of 75%–90% diseases, including the diseases which cause the foremost morbidity and mortality. According to the former review, the most common stress-related diseases are cardiovascular diseases (CVD, i.e., hypertension and atherosclerosis), metabolic diseases (i.e., diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD), psychotic and neurodegenerative disorders (i.e., depression, Alzheimer’s disease, AD and Parkinson’s disease, PD), cancer (Cohen et al., 2007)…” Inflammation: The Common Pathway of Stress-Related Diseases