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Stress symptoms: The physical signs that show you're under pressure

There are seven physical symptoms that can help identify when a person is stressed, according to a nutritionist and mindfulness expert.

Charlotte Watts, author of The De-Stress Effect, claims that a stressed body will absorb nutrients quicker, meaning that the body subsequently functions at a faster, less effective, pace.

This can trigger symptoms often associated with vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as bleeding gums and white spots on nails, Watts told Healthista.                

“Food sources can help replace used nutrients, but also, reducing sugar and stress means our diets are naturally more nutrient dense and we spare our resources for when we most need them,” she said.

According to Watts, each of the symptoms exhibited by stressed patients can be indicators of corresponding vitamin deficiencies:

Cracked lips (vitamin B6), teeth grinding (vitamin B5), white spots on nails (zinc), constipation and diarrhoea (magnesium), bleeding gums (vitamin C), raised spots on limbs (vitamin E), throat and chest infections (vitamin A).

There are also endless studies documenting the effect that stress can have on our waistlines.

However, new research suggests that this can be particularly prevalent in women.

A study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found that women who experience stress from traumatic life events are at a higher risk of developing obesity than those who seldom feel stressed out.

“We know that stress affects behaviour, including whether people under- or overeat, as well as neuro-hormonal activity by in part increasing cortisol production, which is related to weight gain,” said lead author Michelle A. Albert, medical professor at UCSF.

While stress is widely-perceived by scientists as provoking negative effects, a team of researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois claim that a small amount of stress could actually be beneficial in terms of cellular health.

The study, published in Cell Reports, found that cortisol, often called the “stress hormone”, can actually protect ageing cells and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntingdon’s.

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