The constant stress of living in the age of coronavirus is affecting more than your mental health and emotional coping abilities. It’s likely taking a toll on your body as well.

“We’re living in a sea of stress hormones every day,” said stress management expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, an editor for “Contentment” magazine, produced by the American Institute of Stress.“We’re not designed for a constant application of these chemicals,” Ackrill said. “The stress hormone cortisol just ravages our bodies when it’s dumped into our system repeatedly.”

Designed to keep you functioning throughout the day, cortisol levels are meant to rise in the morning and decrease as the day lengthens. The hormone’s purpose is to maintain blood sugar levels to keep your brain and muscles functioning and suppress non-vital systems like digestionthat might drag your energy down.

But when triggered by a stressful occurrence, cortisol levels suddenly spike, and can take hours to dissipate. If that stress is constant, those levels don’t drop, leading to cortisol malfunction and a disease-causing boost in inflammation.

“Inflammation is behind diabetes. Inflammation is behind heart disease. It’s behind all of the autoimmune diseases. It’s behind asthma and allergies, and the list goes on,” Ackrill said.

If you’re genetically at risk or you already have an inflammatory condition, today’s constant stress may well trigger or worsen your symptoms.

Read more: CNN News

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