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Stress can affect the body in many different ways. Most people will be aware that it can affect your heart and your brain. Yet it can also affect your skin, immune system, guts, muscles, hormones and bones. The effect on your heart could result in increased heart rate, raise blood pressure and could possibly lead to heart disease. Whereas the effect on your brain may include fatigue, decreased mood and reduced concentration. Your skin may change in texture, it may lose tone and moisture and look more delicate. Other effects include decreased immunity, muscle protein breakdown, less calcium absorption leading to a weakening of the bones. The gut can be affected by changes in gut mobility, less nutrient absorption or leaky gut. Physical signs and symptoms of stress include low energy, headaches, muscle tension, neck or back pain, stomach upsets including diarrhoea, constipation and nausea. In some cases, it can lead to chest pain and a rapid heartbeat. People who are stressed may find that they get colds and infections more regularly. They may experience loss of sexual desire or ability. They may have a dry mouth and have difficulty sleeping.

They can be fatigued and either lose their appetite or start to overeat. Cognitive symptoms can include memory problems, the inability to concentrate, poor judgment, always seeing the negative side of situations, being anxious, having thoughts that race and constantly worry. Behavioural symptoms can include eating more or less, sleeping too much or too little, withdrawing from others, putting jobs or chores off until tomorrow, neglecting responsibilities, using alcohol or cigarettes or drugs to relax and developing nervous habits such as nail biting or pacing. Emotional symptoms can include depression or general unhappiness, with anxiety and agitation, moodiness, irritability or anger. A person may feel overwhelmed or lonely and be isolated.