Are You Confusing Stress With These 4 Conditions?

by Stephlina D'cunha

Though you may be ready to blame stress for every little ache and pain in your body, it might not be the culprit after all.

Experts say that many times we’re so stressed out that we often confuse the symptoms with other diseases such as hypertension and fibromyalgia, as they bear the same stress-like symptoms such as fatigue, headache and anxiety.

Here are four conditions that often get confused with stress due to their common symptoms.

1. Hypertension
An elevated blood pressure is definitely something to worry about. However, its asymptomatic nature usually clouds its diagnosis. Certain stress-like symptoms—headaches, severe anxiety, shortness of breath or nosebleeds—may indicate that you are, in fact, in a hypertensive crisis. Ignoring these symptoms leaves you prone to the risk of stroke, heart attack and even loss of kidney function. Here is how you can manage your blood pressure naturally.

2. Iron Deficiency Anemia
Constant fatigue is a hallmark symptom of iron deficiency anemia. But doesn’t it also point to stress? Stress can sap you of energy and enervate your body. In iron deficiency anemia, your body is unable to make healthy red blood cells due to deficiency of iron. Lack of iron in the diet can drain your energy and leave you worn out.

Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Low levels usually put more pressure on the heart as it has to work harder to move around oxygen-rich blood. Untreated iron deficiency can put you at the risk of arrhythmias, heart murmur, enlarged heart and even heart failure. Here’s how you can eat to beat iron-deficiency anemia.

3. Hormonal Disorders
Stress often corresponds to disturbed eating habits. It makes you either eat too much or too little, which can lead to drastic fluctuations in your weight. However, weight fluctuations can also signal hormonal irregularities. Abnormal production of thyroid hormones is often the reason behind unexplained weight changes. Autoimmune conditions such as Grave’s and Hashimoto’s often affect the function of thyroid and could be the reason behind your weight changes. Here are five yoga poses to treat an overactive thyroid.

4. Fibromyalgia
Yes, stress can give you all sorts of aches and pains but continuous unexplained joint and muscle pains accompanied by headaches, fatigue, sleep problems and lack of concentration can be indicative of fibromyalgia. According to a 2011 report published in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, fibromyalgia is the second leading cause of visits to rheumatologists. However, it can take years to diagnose.

While these conditions may be behind your stress-like symptoms, stress itself can result in a number of ailments such as heart disease, hypertension and chronic fatigue syndrome. However, there are ways in which you can unwind after a stressful day and stay healthy. Here are some tips:

  • Try these six yoga poses to help you unwind.
  • Essential oils can also relieve your stress and anxiety. See how to de-stress with aromatherapy here.
  • If you feel like a bundle of nerves in the middle of the day, you need to find a quick relaxation technique. Here’s how you can calm those nerves in 5 minutes or less.
  • Natural remedies are also effective in getting rid of those blues and charging up. Pump up your energy levels with these five herbs.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Diseases & Conditions here.

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