How Does Problem Gambling Affect Physical Health?

When people think of substance or alcohol abuse, they often think of the physical ramifications these behaviors have on people. A host of bodily changes happen that negatively affect how they interact with the world around them in concert with their behavioral ones. When those same people think of problem gambling, they may only focus on strained relationships, their financial health, and how it impacts their families. However, they may not realize the physical toll it can take. 

Understanding how problem gambling can affect the entire body, the question becomes — how does problem gambling affect physical health?

Stress-Related Issues

We can feel stressed for any number of reasons. Problems at work, a strained marriage, or worrying about if your team will cover the spread can lead to spikes in your stress levels. For problem gamblers that regularly make bets on their teams, the stress and uncertainty with every wager lead to increasingly common stress-related disorders, including:

  • Migraine Headaches
  • Tension Headaches
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Insomnia

These conditions are commonly found in problem gamblers due to their lifestyle and the constant stress they put themselves under waiting for a particular game to finish. While stress is one of the most common underlying causes of drains on your physical health, it’s not the only one. 

Potential Heart Problems

As more people deal with their gambling problem in Atlantic City, NJ, identifying some of the risk factors and potential ramifications of the constant stress they put themselves under can help them understand what’s happening to their physical health. The increased stress levels can affect your heart health in various ways. Issues such as hypertension can affect their blood vessels, making it more difficult to pump blood throughout their body. 

If hypertension goes untreated for extended periods, it can potentially lead to instances of cardiac arrest. Health problems like this can be potentially life-threatening and often not considered when people start gambling in earnest. 

Sleep Deprivation

Some of the physical side effects due to gambling aren’t readily apparent, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Similar to cases of substance abuse, anxiety and depression can develop in problem gamblers, and with that comes their physical side effects — like insomnia. 

Sleep deprivation caused by insomnia remains one of the most common side effects of problem gambling due to people developing a co-occurring mental health issue that also affects physical health. As people continue to deal with sleep issues, finding ways to treat each underlying cause can help them get a good night’s sleep. However, when it ties back to a gambling problem, people may be more reluctant to get help because they’re still in denial. 

Have a Gambling Problem? Don’t Hesitate to Contact 800-GAMBLER 

For people dealing with a gambling problem, how it affects their ongoing physical health may be hard to reconcile with their habits. Knowing and understanding the link between your deteriorating physical health and your gambling habits can help become the driving force you or a loved one needs to get the necessary help and support. 

800-GAMBLER’S confidential 24/7 hotline is available to help people looking for help and support on their road to recovery. To find help for a sports betting problem in Atlantic City, NJ, contact 800-GAMBLER today!


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