Oxidative stress occurs when there is a high level of oxidation in the cells in our body, that is to say that it occurs at a higher rate than usual, and therefore we can suffer from different conditions and even serious diseases. The effects of this process can be seen more easily in the skin and hair, but occurs in our entire body. Knowing the maximum details about this situation will help you avoid it as much as possible and recognize the symptoms to act as soon as possible and continue to maintain your health in good condition.

So, here we explain what are the main causes of oxidative stress and everything you need to know related to this health issue, such as symptoms, related diseases and some recommendations.

You may also be interested in: How to combat oxidative stress

 1. What are oxidative stress and oxidative stress?
 2. Causes of oxidative stress
 3. Symptoms of oxidative stress
 4. Diseases caused by oxidative stress
 5. Recommendations to reduce oxidative stress

What are
oxidative stress and oxidative stress?

Oxidation, free radicals and antioxidants are a common occurrence in our body, although they can also come from external sources. All this is given in a normal way for the simple fact of being alive. That is, they are components and results of the cellular activity of the organism .

Specifically and very simply, we find that in the mitochondria, the part of the cells in which there is the exchange of nutrients and oxygen required, chemical reactions occur that give us the energy necessary for the cells to develop their activity. But during this process reactions occur and there are certain components that need to be known in order to know what this type of stress is in the cells. So, here’s what you need to do:

1. Oxidation

Oxygen is vital for life, but every time we breathe to get it in our body there are various chemical reactions, including oxidation. These reactions always leave residues such as reactive species or free radicals. If we do not control that the level of these residues remains normal and tolerable, we begin to feel affected, we have less energy, we age prematurely and we become sick more than normal, among other things.

Thus, oxidation is a chemical reaction in which a molecule gives an electron to another, which is called oxidizing agent, and thus the first molecule loses stability and creates residues. This process we see in everyday things as the fruit, for example when we leave a piece of apple cut in the air and we see that in a little while has turned brown, i.e the apple has been oxidized .

2. Free radicals

They are the main residues of the reaction of the natural oxidation process. They are unstable molecules to have a free electron and to have stability they need to give or pair the electron to another molecule. By doing this they damage other molecules and oxidize the cells, altering part of the organism. This can produce degenerative and aging effects as well as inflammation.

3. Antioxidants

These help us to avoid alterations related to the aging of the organism at all levels. Antioxidants act by stopping the chemical reactions that occur during oxidation and, thus, the generation of free radicals uncontrolled. But how do they do it? The process they follow is to oxidize themselves by preventing neighboring molecules from oxidizing.

4. Oxidative stress

So the definition of oxidative stress is that it is a problem that occurs when there is an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants. Thus, when the oxidants exceed the antioxidants, this state of stress occurs, because the organism is at a disadvantage when it comes to defending itself in this situation.

Oxidative stress

Causes of
oxidative stress

Although oxidation is a process that occurs because of the oxygen we breathe and this can not be avoided, as part of the natural process of being alive and aging, there are other external reasons that unbalance the relationship between oxidizing agents and antioxidants. These are the main causes of oxidative stress , mainly these are sources of free radicals, and many of them can be avoided:

  • Smoke
  • Inhale cigarette smoke
  • Drug use, including alcohol
  • Pollution of the air of our surroundings
  • Radiation
  • Sunlight and other UV lights
  • Consume few antioxidants or spend them very quickly

smoke of oxidative stress

Symptoms of oxidative stress

It is good that we know the signs that indicate that we have this health problem. Therefore, we will tell you what are the main symptoms of this type of cellular stress and, from this, you can act as soon as you identify them:

  • Less smooth and supple skin
  • Wrinkles marked
  • Spots on the skin
  • Eye bags
  • Brittle hair
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Less resistance
  • Muscular weakness
  • Rigidity
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Emotional instability
  • Alterations and problems in memory

Obviously, most symptoms are related to the normal aging of the body, but we should be alarmed when this happens prematurely or is very marked.

caused by oxidative stress

There are several diseases and conditions that have been directly or secondarily related to this problem. Some of the diseases related to oxidative stress :

  • Premature aging
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Other cardiovascular diseases
  • Waterfalls
  • Other eye diseases
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Asthma
  • Other conditions of the respiratory system
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver failure
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Lupus
  • Cancer

Diseases caused by oxidative stress

to reduce oxidative stress

To make it easier for you to combat this problem, we offer some tips to reduce oxidative stress :

  1. Reduce your exposure to free radicals from outside sources, such as quitting smoking or sunbathing without sun protection.
  2. Consume more foods rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals.
  3. Consult with your doctor the possibility of following a treatment based on antioxidants if your case is necessary.
  4. Go to the doctor whenever you see or feel any of the symptoms discussed and explain what your lifestyle.
  5. Improve your eating habits as well as exercise, sleep, and so on.
  6. It uses specific products to combat some of the most visible problems that occur on the skin and hair, such as anti-aging creams. This should be done as something complementary since it alone will not solve the problem.

This article is purely informative,  we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to go to a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you would like to read more articles related to Causes of oxidative stress , we recommend that you come to our category of Diseases and side effects .