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What illnesses have been linked to too much stress?

First I need to issue a warning. Research is still under way it is impossible to make a definitive list of what illnesses are linked with stress and one cannot assume that if you suffer with one of these illnesses you have therefore been under too much stress.

Second it is important to understand that stress does not cause the illness. It is the effects of prolonged stress on the body that gives an opportunity for the illness to develop or for a developed illness to cause even more harm. For instance prolonged stress has a detrimental effect on the immune system which in turn leaves one vulnerable to all kinds of nasty things. Having said this if you ask the simple question of "can stress kill" the simple answer is yes and in large numbers.

Here is the list of illnesses linked with too much stress (this list is mostly taken from and more information is available from this web site):

  • acne

  • alcoholism

  • Alzheimer's disease

  • asthma

  • back pain

  • birth defects

  • breast cancer

  • bruxism

  • cancer

  • carpal tunnel syndrome

  • cholesterol, elevated

  • chronic fatigue syndrome

  • colds

  • cortisol, elevated

  • diabetes

  • depression

  • dysmenorrhea

  • heart disease

  • headaches

  • HIV disease

  • hypertension

  • immune system disturbances

  • infertility

  • insomnia

  • menstrual problems

  • multiple sclerosis (MS)

  • night eating syndrome

  • OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)

  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder)

  • stroke

  • TMD (temporomandibular disorders)

  • ulcers

  • uterine cancer


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