Stress is the silent killer. Let’s face it stress is unavoidable, especially if you are an engineering student. Yet, properly managing and monitoring your stress can be crucial to not only daily performance but also to your long term health. There are countless studies out there that have consistently indicated how health can be detrimental to your health.
Even a 2013 study pointed out that stress can affect how well you can control your emotions. While John Hopkins University researchers highlighted that children exposed to chronic stress are more likely to develop a mental illness.
Even a recent study by the American Institute of Stress showed that stress can increase your chances of heart disease. Need to check out how stressed out you are? Researchers from the University of Cincinnati have come up with a new test that can measure how stressed out you are, using simple information.
The newly developed stress test can easily and simply measure common stress hormones using sweat, blood, urine or saliva. The eventual end goal of this test is to have a test like this at home so that patients can monitor their own health.
According to Andrew Steckl, an Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of electrical engineering in UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science, "I wanted something that's simple and easy to interpret. This may not give you all the information, but it tells you whether you need a professional who can take over.”
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The device created by researchers used ultraviolet light to measure stress hormones in a drop of blood, sweat, urine or saliva measuring the stress biomarkers found in these fluids. In fact, the device not only measures one but multiple biomarkers.
"Stress harms us in so many ways. And it sneaks up on you. You don't know how devastating a short or long duration of stress can be,” says UC graduate Prajokta Ray, the study's first author.
"So many physical ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and neurological or psychological disorders are attributed to stress the patient has gone through. That's what interested me."
Understanding how stress affects us on an individual level could become extremely valuable. As you are probably well aware, stress has been a hot topic for years, sparking changes across workspaces and classrooms. As stated by Ray, “This test has the potential to make a strong commercial device. It would be great to see the research go in that direction."
Would you use a test like this in your daily life? What is stressing you out?