Bustle: Stress & Toxic Stress Are Actually Two Different Things, & Here’s How Experts Say to Tell them Apart
April 29, 20192 min read

Stress is something that everyone experiences from time to time, but, did you know that there are different kinds of stress? Many people use the terms “stress” and “toxic stress” interchangeably. However, experts say that stress and toxic are actually not the same thing — and that toxic stress comes with its own distinctive set of health problems.

What’s more, toxic stress can cause a host of physical health issues — some of which may be chronic. “Different people cope with stress in different ways and how we deal with stress often relates to our general health […] Some tend to drink too much alcohol, or participate in other unhealthy behaviors that can increase the risk of heart disease, and impact your heart health negatively,” Dr. Robert Segal, the founder of Manhattan Cardiology and co-founder of LabFinder.com, says. According to the American Institute of Stress, prolonged exposure to stress is linked to digestive issues, headaches, body aches, a weakened immune system, worsening of pre-existing conditions like asthma, and irregular periods. Moreover, sleep disorders and poor dental health are common among adults who experienced adverse childhood experiences (aka, traumatic situations that cause toxic stress), as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration writes.

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Written by: LabFinder Team / Approved by: Dr. Robert Segal, M.D.