The Psychosomatic Implications Of Stress Resulting To Illness And Diseases

Funom MakamaStarred Page By Funom Makama, 14th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Work Issues & Stress

Asides hypertension and stroke, there are a numerous other diseases, stress can result to. Diseases such as ulcers, headaches, allergies, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, backache and many others are common effects of stress.


Ulcers are fissures or cuts in the wall of the stomach, duodenum or other parts of the intestines. One theory explaining the effects of stress on the development of ulcers pertains to the mucous coating that lines the stomach. The theory states that during chronic stress, norepinephrine secretion causes capillaries in the stomach lining to constrict. This in turn results in a shutting down of mucous production and the mucous protective barrier for the stomach wall is lost. Without the protective barrier, hydrochloric acid breaks down the tissue and can even reach blood vessels, resulting in a bleeding ulcer.


Migraine headaches are the result of a constriction and dilation of the carotid arteries of one side of the head. The constriction phase, called the pre-attack or prodrome, is often associated with light or noise sensitivity, irritability and a flushing or pallor of the skin. When the dilation of the arteries occurs, certain chemicals stimulate adjacent nerves endings, causing pain. The migraine is not just a severe headache. It is a unique type of headache with special characteristics and it usually involved just one side of the head.

Tension And Headaches
Headaches may be caused by muscle tension accompanying stress. This muscle tension may include the forehead, jaw or neck. Treatment for tension headaches may include medication (aspirin or tranquiliser), heat on tense muscles, or massage.

Allergies, Asthma And Hay Fever

Allergies, of which asthma and hay fever are but two examples are the body’s defense against a foreign, irritating substance called an antigen. In response to this antigen, the body produces antibodies. Among their other functions, antibodies stimulate the release of chemicals. Histamine, one of these chemicals, causes tissues to swell, mucous secretions to increase, and air passages in the lungs to become constricted. Now you know why the drug of choice for allergy sufferers is an antihistamine.

Some have concluded, therefore that either the effects of stress on the immunological system decrease our ability to withstand an antigen (meaning a decreased allergic threshold) or, even in the absence of an antigen, can lead to an allergic-like response. Some allergic sufferers, in particular asthmatics, are being taught relaxation techniques and breathing- control exercises to enable them control their physiology during allergic reactions.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis afflicts a large number of people (three times as many women as men) with inflammation and swelling in various body joints, which may proceed developmentally to be extremely painful and debilitating. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, though it is suspected of being related to the faulty functioning of the immune response.

Several investigators have found personality differences between rheumatoid arthritis sufferers and others. Those afflicted with this disease have been found to be perfectionists who are self- sacrificing, masochistic, self conscious, shy and inhibited. Female rheumatoid patients were found to be nervous, moody and depressed with a history of being rejected by their mothers and having strict fathers.

It has been suggested that people with the rheumatoid factor who experience chornic stress become susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis. Their immunological system malfunctions, and their genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis results in their developing the condition.


Millions of people suffer backache and erroneously bemoan their posture on jobs. Certainly backache may result from lifting a heavy object incorrectly or from structural problems. The vast majority of backache problems however are the result of muscular weakness or muscular bracing. Some experts on backache suggest exercise as the best preventive measure.

As with tension headache, bracing causes muscle to lose its elasticity and fatigue easily. Bracing may lead to muscle spasms and back pain. This constant muscular contraction is found in people who are competitive, angry, and apprehensive. Backaches have been found more frequently in people who have experienced a good deal of stress.

For more on psychiatric cases, situations and disorders, click on the following links:
1. Alcoholism And Psychosomatic Disorders: Psychiatric Significance, Etiology, Clinical Presentations And Treatment
2. Drug Dependence: Psychiatric Significance, Clinical Manifestations And Treatment
3. Hysterical Neurosis And Anorexia Nervosa: Psychiatric Significance Of Their Clinical Manifestations
4. Organic Psychosis: Etiology, Clinical Manifestations, Diagnosis And Treatment Of Delirium And Dementia

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
15th Mar 2014 (#)

Interesting post!

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author avatar Lambasted
15th Mar 2014 (#)

A great post as always! What a gem you are. This page definitely deserves a star, please do not relent in sharing

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author avatar Funom Makama
15th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks a lot guys! I really appreciate it

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author avatar Songbird B
16th Mar 2014 (#)

A really interesting and informative page Funom as always with you.. \0/x

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author avatar Funom Makama
17th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you so much Songbird B

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author avatar Funom Makama
22nd Mar 2014 (#)

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