Any feeling of being out of sorts might indicate a possibility of stress. Prolonged stress changes neuroendocrine hormonal systems, cardiovascular responses and metabolism putting a cumulative strain on organs causing or worsening a wide range of illnesses.

Some confined animals die of stress when alarmed with nowhere to run.

Inability to concentrate, flight of thoughts
Difficulty making decisions
Disoriented when the day's routine is over.
Feelings of unreality, weakness, or dizziness.
Reduced sensory attention and clarity. Vision, hearing and touch are dulled.

Mental or physical fatigue – energy levels down – tire easily

Frontal lobe activity reduced. The right hand Hippocampus and Amygdala shrink with prolonged stress or PTSD contributing to memory loss. Memories not laid down or access reduced. Poor memory. Forgetting appointments, deadlines or personal possessions.

decision making
Thinking processes are shut down and are replaced by snap reflexive decisions. Thoughts race around without settling on a solution – decisions take weeks instead of minutes.

A traumatic event changes the areas of the brain that allocate attention and resources to alarming events. The sympathetic (arousal) nervous system becomes more easily set off
and if it stays on until it is exhausted, a para-sympathetic (resting) nervous system backlash sets in with negative feelings like guilt and depression. This can set off an alternating roller coaster of arousal, exhaustion, arousal, exhaustion.

Cynical, blaming, disenchanted, irritable, short­ tempered, disappointed with people, feeling misunderstood or unappreciated,. People are annoying.

Impulsive, emotional, agitated.
Tense, over vigilant and alert
and involuntary muscle twitches
Easily startled
High pitched, nervous laughter.

Blunted feelings. Numbness. Avoid difficult situations. Little to say to people. Seeing close friends and family members less frequently.

sleep disturbance
Insomnia. Nightmares

over work
Working harder and harder and accomplishing less and less. Can't delegate – wanting control - too busy to do even routine things.

muscular tension
Muscle tension can be part of the automatic hard wired stress response or can be a guarding reaction left over from previous traumatic experience.
Muscle spasticity or muscle cramp.
Tight neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles may lead to headache.

accident prone
Minor injuries, cuts and bruises, road accidents.

speech difficulties
Constriction of the throat can lead to forced strained voice.

Not enjoying work, relationships or family role. Extra effort required to be tidy, polite and finish chores.

Anxiety is a natural and useful response to danger. When no effective response to the anticipated danger is found, anxiety itself becomes the danger and can progress to panic attacks.

comfort activities
Drug addictions, gambling, overeating

Weight loss or gain, frequent upset stomach, indigestion, gas pain, constipation, cramps, diarrhoea or appetite changes. Worrying may reduce appetite.

immune system
Long term stress and toxic pollutants in food or environment weaken the immune system and impair its clean up of cancerous cells and foreign proteins leading to an increase in all sorts of diseases including cancer colds, flu, infections, allergies asthma and autoimmune diseases.

Cools the body which in turn allows it to burn more energy.

dryness of the mouth
Saliva production stops

Excessive sweating without physical exertion.
An increased risk of inflammatory conditions

muscle tone
Loss of muscle tone and protein wasting. Muscle tension and aches and pains

bone mineral loss
Impaired injury recovery.

The frequent need to urinate.

ringing in the ears
stress can trigger the ear to send an abnormal stream of impulses, which the brain interprets as tinnitus.

tightness in chest
and a feeling as though you can't catch you breath

feeling faint
or dizzy

or shortness of breath
periodontal disease
teeth and gum disease, jaw pain

inhibited growth
reproductive problems
Premenstrual tension or disrupted menstrual cycle.
Loss of sex drive. Sex seems like more trouble than it's worth - a burden rather than a pleasure
Lowered fertility

Insulin resistance


growth hormones
During prolonged stress, growth hormone, prolactin, antibody production and white blood cells decrease compromising the immune system increasing susceptibility to infection.

itchy skin and rashes
Hives, skin rashes, eczema and dermatitis worsen or are initiated by stress as blood is diverted away from the skin. Stress can trigger the release of histamine and contribute to allergic reactions. Adrenaline can upset the balance of other hormones in the body, causing flushes and making acne worse.

Long-term stress slows the production of collagen and elastin fibres which give the skin its elasticity, resulting in sagging. The healing process and ability to bounce back slow with age.

headaches and migraine
Changes in the dilation of blood vessels that supply the brain can cause throbbing headaches and contribute to migraines.

Blood to the digestive system is restricted and muscle contractions that move food along the gut either slow down or work overtime to compensate. Long term stress can contribute to dyspepsia (nausea, heartburn, distension, indigestion), ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.
Leaky gut is often associated with prolonged stress. When the gut wall and blood vessel walls lose their integrity foreign protein can enter the bloodstream and trigger immune response which can in turn lead to allergies or immune overload.

hair loss
Restriction of blood to the scalp and altered absorption of trace elements and amino acids essential for hair growth. Increased levels of the hormone prolactin in women can alter testosterone metabolism and lead to thinning.

muscle twitching
During stress breathing is restricted and the waste product lactic acid is not carried away efficiently and may cause muscle spasms. The eyelids are the last part of the body to relax.

Heart beats faster and blood pressure rises (heart pounding) risking damaging blood vessels. If this damages blood vessels in the kidneys they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid. The extra fluid may then raise blood pressure further in an escalating cycle.

chronic fatigue
Metabolic processes are slowed and stored nutrients are used until depleted.

Without essential nutrients and with an impaired immune system some foods and drinks may cause fluttering or irregular beats and palpitations which may also lead on to panic attacks.