The Impact of Long-Term Chronic Stress on Your Body

The Impact of Long-Term Chronic Stress on Your Body

Created On
Oct 27 2022
Last Updated
Aug 23 2023

Constant stress can wreak havoc on your body over time. Read more about the impact of long-term stress on the body. Learn about the causes and effects of stress and when you should be concerned.


Stress is something we’ve all felt before, and while it isn’t pleasant, it’s rarely harmful in the long run. However, when stress persists over a long period, it can become hazardous to your health. Below, we explain the long-term impact of chronic stress on your body and when you should be concerned about your stress levels.

What Causes Stress?

When you encounter something that you perceive as a threat, a small area near the base of your brain, the hypothalamus, kicks into high gear. It uses signals to prompt your adrenal glands to release stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol. These stress hormones boost functions that are useful in times of duress—they quicken your heart rate to give you more energy and create extra glucose to help your body repair damaged tissue. At the same time, they curb functions that aren’t necessary, like your immune system.

How Much Stress Is Too Much?

Stress isn’t inherently bad. It’s an essential bodily function, and its goal is to protect you from harm. It’s perfectly normal—and healthy—to have occasional, small bursts of it. But too much of a good thing can be bad. If your stressor is a constant force in your life, it can cause stress to continue indefinitely; and certain conditions, like anxiety, can result in non-stop stress, even when there’s no apparent threat. If your stress levels never seem to wane, you could have chronic stress.

The Long-Term Effects of Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is a relentless feeling of stress and anxiety that persists over a long period. It can have a long-term impact on your body, causing:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Headaches

  • Muscle aches

  • Stomach aches

  • Insomnia

  • Weight gain

  • Memory issues

  • High blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes

Chronic stress can harm your body mentally and physically. If you feel constantly stressed, it’s crucial to take measures to reduce that stress. Understanding the source of your stress and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally can help you make it through stressful times.

If you’re not sure if your stress levels are something to worry about, taking an at-home cortisol test can help you determine that. At RxHomeTest, we have quick, effective saliva tests that measure your cortisol levels over the course of 24 hours. Collect your samples and ship them to our labs, where our world-class physicians will review your results and send you an easy-to-follow report. Order your kit now so that you can take the first step in managing your stress.


Order a 24-hour diurnal cortisol test kit.

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