Q: I often have a nagging headache, frequent stomach pain, and aching back and neck. I am sure something is wrong but my family physician insists I am experiencing stress. How can this be?


    A: I have written frequently about stress because it is one of the most common causes of debilitation that I see. Stress can take on many forms and although many people know it can affect your thoughts and feelings many do not realize that it can also affect your body. If you can identify your stress symptoms, you may also be able to manage them. If you do not recognize and deal with stress symptoms, stress may contribute to many health problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.


    The Mayo Clinic notes that stress can affect you in 3 ways. It can impact your body, your mood and your behaviour, causing symptoms such as:



    • Headache
    • Muscle tension or pain
    • Chest pain
    • Fatigue
    • Change in sex drive
    • Stomach upset
    • Sleep problems


    Changes in Mood:

    • Anxiety
    • Restlessness
    • Lack of motivation or focus
    • Irritability or anger
    • Sadness or depression


    Behavioural Changes:

    • Over or under eating
    • Angry outbursts
    • Tobacco use
    • Drug or alcohol abuse
    • Social withdrawal


    Stress can most often be successfully managed through good counselling and stress management techniques that are easy to maintain and very successful. Why suffer the symptoms or compromise your health, when with a few hours of counselling, you can manage your stress and take control of your symptoms?



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