According to the magazine "Prevention", you might be more stressed out than you think. Here are seven random signs you're dealing with too much stress.
#1.) Weekend Headaches. According to the director of the Washington University Headache Center, a sudden DROP in stress can cause migraines. So if you have bad headaches during the weekend when you're relaxing, it might be because you're NOT stressed out.
#2.) Bad Cramps. A Harvard study found that women are more than twice as likely to have extremely painful cramps when they're stressed out. Researchers say that exercise is the best remedy, because it helps relieve stress AND menstrual cramps.
#3.) A Sore Jaw. It could be a sign you're grinding your teeth at night, which is often brought on by stress. If you DO grind your teeth, ask your dentist about trying a nighttime mouth guard. It might make you look like an extra from "Revenge of the Nerds" . . . but mouth guards reduce grinding, or stop it completely, in 70% of patients who use them.
#4.) Bleeding Gums When You Brush Your Teeth. Brazilian researchers analyzed 14 studies, and found that stressed-out people have a higher risk of developing gum disease. They think that the hormone cortisol . . . which your body produces when you're feeling stressed . . . might impair your immune system and allow bacteria to invade your gums.
#5.) Itchy Skin. A recent Japanese study of more than 2,000 people found that the ones with chronic itch were twice as likely to be stressed out. Obviously the itching itself caused some of the stress, but the researchers think that feeling anxious also aggravates conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
#6.) Bad Allergies. Some researchers think that stress hormones stimulate the production of a certain blood protein that causes allergic reactions. And a 2008 study at Ohio State University found that allergy sufferers had more symptoms after they took a test that was designed to stress them out.
#7.) Stomach Aches. In a study of over 1,900 men and women, the ones with the highest stress levels were more than three times as likely to have abdominal pain. Doctors aren't sure why, but one theory is that the intestines and the brain share nerve pathways, and when your brain reacts to stress, your intestines follow. But if you have CHRONIC stomach aches, see your doctor to rule everything else out. You might have an ulcer, food allergies, or irritable bowel syndrome. Or you might be lactose intolerant.