Our bodies stress reaction was meant to protect us. When this system is constantly on alert, our health can pay the price. Our stress response system produces chemicals in our bodies that have effects to help us deal with the stress. The long-term activation of this system (caused by chronic stressors) can disrupt almost all of our bodies normal functions leading to health problems. Common effects of stress: On our bodies: Heart disease: chest pain. Sleep problems: insomnia. Digestive problems: stomach upset, ulcers. Obesity. Headache. Fatigue. Muscle tension or pain. Change in sex drive. Worsening of skin conditions, eczema. On our mood: Depression or sadness. Anxiety and restlessness. Memory impairment.