Stress Is Making You Shorter (and Other Weird Things It Does to Your Body)

Let us start with a trivia. Did you know that between the time you wake up in the morning and the time you sleep at night, you are losing 1% of your actual height? If you consider yourself an average-sized man, approximately 2/3 of an inch is lost during this period.

This is strange, right?

So, how much stranger could it get if with stress, the “shrinkage” phenomenon is made worse, especially during workdays.  A Swiss research has been published, saying that when you are standing upright, movement and the effect of gravity on your spine squeeze the liquid in between the vertebrae. With the presence of stress, the tension becomes worse, causing the muscles between the back and the shoulders to contract for a longer period. This, in turn, pushes the liquid out- in an intensity and amount higher than the usual. The entire process causes a person to become shorter, the authors say.

Aside from shrinkage, stress causes a lot more negative things to the body, such as:

Lingering, ringing sound in the ear: Medically termed as “Tinnitus,” the Swedish study wrote that men are 39 more likely to experience ringing or hearing loss when stress-out due to job-related problems. This is attributed to the fact that anxiety and stress hormones cause the cochlear receptors to overly stimulate, often reaching a harmful level.

Itching on the skin: When you are subjected to work in a speed and intensity unusual for your capacity, perhaps like a dog, a part of your brain triggers abnormal activities primarily in the “central itch control.” This could result it skin conditions like rashes and itchiness.

Skrinking of the brain: Stress increases the presence of proteins in the body; thereby, minimizing or haltering the natural ability of the brain to develop synapses- the part of the brain that processes messages, the Yale University reported. With constancy, this could lead to a loss of brain mass, specifically in the pre-frontal cortex- the area responsible for decision making. This induced brain shrinkage is also related to Alzheimer’s and all other dementia cases.

Pain in the stomach: The interaction between the stomach and the brain are not well understood. However, stress hormones have been found to over-stimulate the brain areas that are responsible for the normal activities in the intestines. Eventually, this could lead to stomach irritation and nausea, says UCLA.

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