Chronic stress can cause unexplained weight loss. Stress can affect the brain function, heart health, behavior, internal organs, and immunity . Chronic stress can also increase risk of tumor development .
Hence, it is important that you listen to your body’s response to chronic stress. If you are losing weight and are constantly under stress, this post is for you. Keep reading to learn how to reduce stress and prevent unnatural weight loss.
How Does Stress Cause Weight Loss?
Here are the various ways chronic stress causes weight loss:
- Produces Stress Hormones
When you are under constant stress, your body is constantly in the flight or fight mode. This means that you are always producing the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones impact your digestion, immunity, and sleep patterns.
Adrenaline works by preparing your body for vigorous physical activity, but it also reduces your appetite. Cortisol acts by suppressing certain body functions that are unnecessary during stressful situations, like the reproductive function, digestion, and immunity.
- Affects Hunger And Digestion
Due to the dual hormonal effect on your body, you might not feel hungry often or at all. Stress affects your vagus nerve, which is the nerve responsible for GI tract peristalsis. In other words, this nerve aids the movement of digested food through your gastrointestinal tract. Besides this movement, the vagus nerve also affects digestion and absorption of food. Under stress, your digestive system may malfunction and cause GI inflammation and symptoms like diarrhea.
- Burns Calories
Under stress, you can also burn extra calories by nervously moving some part of your body – like tapping your feet or clicking your fingers. You might also feel the need to get rid of the stress by working out and end up over exercising, which can lead to unwanted weight loss.
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