While people are often aware of the psychological consequences of leading an overly-stressed life, there are also a lot of physical symptoms that follow from too much stress. For example, according to the American Psychological Association, stress can cause muscle tension, breathing problems, heart problems (which can lead to heart attack or stroke), blood sugar spikes, heartburn, acid reflux, digestion problems, and problems to both the female and male reproductive systems. Other physical symptoms of stress include fatigue, sleep problems, and headaches (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016).
While stress can lead to physical symptoms in the general population, stress can also exacerbate physical symptoms in more specific situations. For example, Marital stress leads to worse cardiovascular outcomes for married women with coronary heart disease (Orth-Gomer et al., 2000). Work stress can lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as an increased risk of mortality from CVD (Cohen et al., 2007). Among men with HIV, stress can even lead to worse AIDS-related outcomes (Cohen et al., 2007).