By Anna Paci, Head of Education & Communication at Specialist Pharmacy
Stress in the workplace is a common issue, with 79% of the workforce saying they frequently experience it and 13.7 million working days are lost to it each year in the UK, costing the economy £28.3 billion annually It can arise due to a variety of factors such as workload, deadlines, long working hours, poor working conditions, job insecurity and interpersonal conflicts, manifesting in many different physical symptoms. In order to tackle this, it’s important to understand that
while it may seem logical to blame all these symptoms on stress, there are common symptoms experienced in the workplace which may be linked to hormones instead.
Stress is linked to hormones in several ways; when you experience stress, the body releases cortisol
from the adrenal glands, increasing your heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This is very helpful in the short term, but prolonged stress can lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels which can manifest in a weakened immune system, decreased bone density, depression and anxiety. It also dysregulates the body’s hypothalamic- pituitary- adrenal (HPA) axis, which negatively impacts sex hormone production, namely oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When these hormones decline or become unbalanced, your body will let you know through various symptoms which can include:
So, let’s look at some ways employees can manage their stress levels and keep their hormones balances in the workplace:
It’s important for both employers and employees to recognise the signs and symptoms of work-related stress or symptoms of hormone imbalances and take proactive steps to address it before it becomes a chronic issue. If high stress levels are becoming overwhelming and disrupting your hormones, you may wish to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced hormone specialist who can prescribe personalised compounded medication to help you feel yourself again.