Do you know, stress would affect aging? You can read a few causes of aging in my pages : Can we slow the aging process? Scientists have identified the first direct link between stress and aging, a finding that could explain why intense, long-term emotional strain can make people get sick and grow old before their time.Chronic stress appears to hasten the shriveling of the tips of the bundles of genes inside cells, which shortens their life span and speeds the body's deterioration. Let see the correlations between stress and aging could happen:
- Andrenaline hormone - Stress creates the production of adrenaline, which takes blood away from the skin, sending it to the muscles to give them increased strength to handle an emergency. When you have stress over a long time that release of adrenaline is ongoing and eventually it will leave your skin looking sallow and pale.
- Affect brain aging - Based on animal models and some human data, the adrenal stress hormone cortisol appears to play an important role in mediating the effects of stress on the brain. "Effects that we know about include impairment of memory, shrinkage of the hippocampus, impaired glucose utilization," he added. "We cannot yet pinpoint specific effects of chronic stress, measured by life events, but we do know that some people age more quickly than others in terms of brain function." Dr. McEwen is the Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University in New York City.
- Break out skin -Intense emotion can cause your skin to break out. It can be excitement, frustration, or anger. That's because it stimulates the release of certain enzymes and hormones, which then send signals that cause the sebum to become overproduced, blocking the pores, and next thing you know you have zits.
- Immunological impairment - Stress can accelerate the effects of aging, with older adults often showing greater immunological impairment to stress than younger adults. Worrying experiences very early in life can alter the responsiveness of the nervous system and immune system.
- Increasing cortisol - Cortisol is increased following several stress disorders. Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that are involved in glucose metabolism (energy production), blood pressure control, maintenance of insulin release, suppression of inflammatory responses.
- Slower removal of dead skin - When you are stressed, the rejuvenation of your skin is hampered. When this occurs dead layers of skin are not sloughed away as quickly leaving room for new skin. That means before you know it you are looking years older than you really are.
- Degeneration of muscle mass - The research by scientists in the UK and the U.S. have discovered that a protein which responds to stress can halt the degeneration of muscle mass caused during the body's aging process.
- Stress causes Alzheimeir's disease - Over the course of a lifetime, the effects of chronic stress can accumulate and become a risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. Several studies have shown that stress, and particularly one's individual way of reacting to stress increases the risk for Alzheimer's disease.
- Effecting Telomeres -The researchers examined structures inside cells called telomeres. Telomeres are the caps at the ends of chromosomes that carry genes. Every time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter. In the natural aging process, the telomeres eventually get so short that the cell can no longer divide and dies. As more and more cells die, the effects of aging can be noticed. These include skin wrinkles, weekend muscles, eyesight and hearing fade, organ failure, and diminished thinking abilities.
In conclusion, I'd love to share this quote with you all. I pick this from medscape.com about stress and aging. "They are very useful, but each of them has side effects and, in the case of antidepressants, they are not effective for everyone," Dr. McEwen said. "Lifestyle change is preferable but hard to achieve, yet regular exercise, social support, and finding meaning and purpose in life have benefits that include better mental and physical health and hopefully less reliance on pharmaceutical agents. Programs by government and private agencies that encourage these positive actions can only but help."