Can Crying a Lot Make You Sick? Understanding the Health Impacts of Excessive Crying

Tears are often considered as emotional responses to certain situations or events. Sometimes, crying can signify tears of joy, relief, or even sentiments of deep sorrow and pain. However, can crying a lot make you sick? This is a question that has puzzled many people throughout history. While sobbing occasionally might not harm you, it begs the question, can excessive crying be hazardous to your health?

Many people have debated whether crying a lot can cause physical health risks. Some people might argue that crying is a physiological response to various emotional triggers that we experience daily, and hence, it’s a natural part of who we are. However, some scientists and doctors suggest that excessive crying can lead to serious health issues such as dehydration, damage to the respiratory system, and high blood pressure, among others. But is there any truth to these claims?

It’s essential to delve into these questions to understand the health risks associated with too much crying. The answer might seem straightforward, but the health implications of excessive crying can be significant. In this article, we will explore the science behind crying and the potential health consequences of crying too much.

Can Crying Frequently Cause Physical Health Issues?

Crying is a natural and healthy expression of emotions, and it is common for people to shed tears when they feel overwhelmed, sad, happy, or inspired. However, some people may cry more frequently than others, whether due to their personality, life circumstances, or mental health conditions. While crying can have emotional benefits and promote social bonding and empathy, some people may wonder whether crying frequently can also cause physical health issues.

  • Dehydration: Crying can cause fluid loss from the body through tears and sweating, which may lead to dehydration if not replenished. Dehydration can cause various symptoms, such as thirst, dry mouth, tiredness, headache, dizziness, and dark urine. It can also affect the normal functioning of organs, such as the kidneys, heart, and brain.
  • Headache: Crying can cause physical tension in the head and neck muscles, leading to a headache or migraine. Additionally, the tears and nasal congestion can put pressure on the sinuses and cause pain and inflammation.
  • Skin irritation: Crying can affect the skin around the eyes and face, making it red, swollen, and tender. Excessive rubbing or wiping of tears can also cause irritation, chafing, or infection.

However, these physical health issues are usually minor and temporary and can be prevented or managed by drinking enough water, taking breaks from crying, and using cold compresses or eye drops. Moreover, crying can also have physical health benefits, such as reducing stress hormones, boosting immune function, and alleviating pain and tension.

Therefore, it is important to distinguish between normal and excessive crying, and seek professional help if crying interferes with daily activities, causes significant distress or impairment, or indicates an underlying mental health problem.

How does crying affect the immune system?

Crying is often associated with emotional pain and upset. It is a natural part of life, and people cry for many different reasons. Some people may cry more than others, but either way, it is a useful way to express negative emotions. Interestingly, crying can also have an impact on your physical health.

  • Crying helps to remove harmful toxins from the body. It’s a way of releasing negative emotions, and as a result, it can help to improve your overall wellbeing. When you cry, you are releasing toxins that have built up in your body due to stress and other negative emotions. This can help to reduce the risk of illness and disease.
  • Crying can also help to boost the immune system. Studies have shown that crying can increase the production of white blood cells which are responsible for fighting off infections and disease. This can help to improve the body’s ability to fight off illness and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
  • On the other hand, if you suppress your tears, it can have a negative impact on your immune system. This is because you are not allowing your emotions to be expressed in a healthy way, which can cause stress and anxiety. This, in turn, can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness and disease.

Overall, crying can have a significant impact on your physical health, and it is important to allow yourself to express your emotions in a healthy way. Don’t suppress your tears, as this can have a negative impact on your immune system and your overall well-being.


“Crying Helps Remove Toxins, But Are There Health Benefits To Shedding Tears?” Medical Daily, 28 Aug. 2014,

Author Year Title Journal
Vingerhoets, Ad J.J.M. 2013 Why Only Humans Weep: Unravelling the Mysteries of Tears Oxford University Press
Hendriks, Markus C P 2008 Crying and Health: An Overview. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

“Why crying is good for your health.” Harvard Health, 2019,

Can chronic crying lead to dehydration?

Crying is a natural emotional response that most people experience from time to time. It can happen for many reasons, such as sadness, frustration, or even happiness. While crying can be a healthy way to let out emotions, some people may experience chronic crying, which can lead to health concerns. One of these concerns is dehydration.

  • Dehydration can occur when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. Tears are made up of water, salt, and other substances, so when a person cries a lot, they may lose a significant amount of fluids.
  • If the body doesn’t get enough fluid, it can lead to dehydration, which can cause many symptoms such as dry mouth, dry skin, thirst, dark urine, fatigue, and dizziness. In severe cases, dehydration can also lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
  • Chronic crying can also lead to electrolyte imbalances, which can affect the body’s ability to function properly. Electrolytes are minerals in the body that help maintain fluid balance, regulate blood pressure, and keep the muscles and nerves working correctly. When a person cries excessively, they may lose electrolytes, leading to imbalances that can cause muscle cramps, weakness, and even irregular heartbeat.

To prevent dehydration when crying, it’s important to drink enough fluids. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that men drink about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of fluids per day, while women should drink about 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of fluids per day. This can include water, juice, milk, or other non-alcoholic beverages. It’s also essential to avoid diuretics such as coffee and alcohol, which can cause the body to lose more fluids.

Signs of Dehydration What to do
Dry or sticky mouth Drink plenty of fluids
Dark yellow urine Drink more fluids
Dizziness or lightheadedness Lie down and rest
Fast or weak pulse Seek medical attention immediately
Confusion or irritability Seek medical attention immediately

If chronic crying is affecting your mental or physical health, it’s essential to seek support from a healthcare provider or therapist. They can help you find ways to manage your emotions and prevent dehydration or other health concerns.

Is there a link between frequent crying and headaches?

Have you ever cried so much that you ended up with a pounding headache? If so, you’re not alone. Crying can have physical effects on your body, including triggering headaches.

  • Crying can cause dehydration, which can lead to headaches.
  • The act of crying can cause tension in the muscles in your face, head, and neck, which can also trigger headaches.
  • When you cry, your body releases stress hormones, which can also contribute to headaches.

While occasional crying may not necessarily lead to headaches, frequent crying or excessive emotional distress can increase your risk of developing headaches or migraines.

If you find that crying is causing you frequent headaches, there are some strategies you can try to minimize the effects:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Take breaks from any activities that may be triggering your emotional distress.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.

It’s also important to address the root cause of your emotional distress. If you find yourself crying frequently due to anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns, seeking therapy or counseling may be helpful in managing your symptoms and reducing your risk of developing headache disorders.

Crying and headaches: What you need to know
Crying can cause dehydration, tension in the muscles, and the release of stress hormones, all of which can trigger headaches.
Frequent crying or excessive emotional distress can increase your risk of developing headache disorders.
Strategies such as staying hydrated, taking breaks, and practicing relaxation techniques can help minimize the effects of crying on headaches.

Overall, while crying in moderation may not necessarily have negative impacts on your physical health, frequent crying or excessive emotional distress can trigger headaches and other physical symptoms. By addressing the root cause of your emotional distress and practicing strategies to manage symptoms, you can reduce your risk of developing headache disorders and maintain your overall well-being.

Can excessive crying cause respiratory problems?

While it is common knowledge that crying can lead to a feeling of exhaustion, it is less known that excessive crying can cause respiratory problems.

  • When we cry excessively, our bodies produce higher amounts of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones can cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
  • Crying also causes our respiratory rate to increase, which can lead to hyperventilation. This condition occurs when our body takes in too much oxygen and expels too much carbon dioxide, causing dizziness, lightheadedness, and even fainting.
  • In some cases, crying can also trigger asthma attacks or worsen existing breathing problems in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other respiratory conditions.

To avoid these respiratory problems, it is essential to take a break from crying if you notice any difficulty breathing. You can practice deep breathing exercises or yoga to regulate your breathing and calm yourself down. Speaking to a therapist or counselor can also help address the underlying cause of excessive crying.


Excessive crying can cause respiratory problems due to the production of stress hormones, increased respiratory rate, and potential triggers of asthma attacks or other respiratory conditions. Practicing breathing exercises or seeking professional help can alleviate these symptoms and address the root cause of excessive crying.

The effects of crying on the cardiovascular system

Crying is a natural emotional response. It is not uncommon for tears to flow during times of grief, frustration or even happiness. While crying may offer a temporary relief from emotional pain, it can have some effects on our cardiovascular system. Here are some things to consider:

  • Crying increases heart rate: When we cry, our heart rate may increase as we experience emotional tension and stress. Increased heart rate can lead to increased blood pressure, which may cause long-term cardiovascular damage.
  • Crying may lead to hyperventilation: Sometimes, when we are crying, we may breathe more quickly than normal and hyperventilate. This can lead to feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
  • Crying can cause a release of stress hormones: When we cry, our bodies may release stress hormones, such as cortisol. Over time, frequent crying may lead to chronic stress, which can have adverse effects on our cardiovascular system.

While crying can provide temporary emotional relief, excessive or prolonged crying may cause damage to the cardiovascular system. It is essential to find other ways to manage stress and process emotions. Engaging in physical exercise, practicing mindfulness, and seeking professional support from a therapist are some techniques we can use to help cope with emotional stressors and avoid any potential heart-related issues.

Here’s a table summarizing the effects of crying on the cardiovascular system:

Cardiovascular effects of crying
Increased heart rate May cause increased blood pressure and long-term cardiovascular damage
Hyperventilation May lead to feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness, and shortness of breath
Release of stress hormones May cause chronic stress and adverse effects on cardiovascular health over time

In conclusion, crying is a natural response to emotions, but it is essential to be mindful of the effects it may have on our cardiovascular system. Seeking alternative ways to manage stress and emotions can help us avoid unnecessary damage to our health and wellbeing.

Can crying too much cause eye problems?

Crying is a natural and healthy emotional response to certain situations. While it is a necessary and important emotional release, too much crying can lead to adverse effects on one’s physical health. One of the most concerning effects of crying too much is eye problems that may arise as a result of prolonged or excessive crying.

When a person cries, the tears flow through the tear ducts and out of the eyes, which helps to cleanse and lubricate the eyes. However, excessive crying can cause eye strain and fatigue, resulting in temporary blurred vision. This condition is known as Corneal Abrasion.

Furthermore, if the eyes are rubbed excessively while wiping away tears or because of frustration or stress, it could result in scratches on the surface of the cornea. This can lead to pain, redness, and discomfort in the eyes. This condition is called Corneal Abrasion.

The constant exposure to salt in tears can also cause dryness in the eyes, which in turn can cause redness, itching, and inflammation. This condition is called Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, commonly referred to as Dry Eye Syndrome.

That being said, it is unlikely that occasional crying and normal tear production would cause long-term damage to the eyes. However, if you find yourself crying excessively, it may be a good idea to consult an eye specialist to rule out any underlying issues.

To reduce the risk of eye problems from crying, it is best to take breaks to rest the eyes and use a warm compress to soothe sore or tired eyes. Additionally, using over-the-counter eye drops specifically designed to lubricate and soothe the eyes can be beneficial in providing relief and preventing further damage.

How does crying affect mental health?

Crying is often seen as a sign of weakness, but in reality, it is a natural and healthy human response, especially when dealing with emotional stress. In fact, crying can have a positive impact on mental health by helping us process and release emotions that might otherwise be hard to express. However, excessive crying can lead to physical and psychological distress, ultimately affecting mental health in different ways.

  • Crying and emotional regulation
      Positive Effects Negative Effects
      Relaxes the body and mind, reducing anxiety and tension. Can escalate into uncontrollable sobbing, disrupting breathing and heart rate.
      Releases endorphins, which can help to reduce pain and elevate mood. Can damage the vocal cords and cause headaches, leading to physical exhaustion.
      Helps to process complex emotions and cope with difficult situations. Can cause embarrassment and shame, leading to social isolation and withdrawal.
    • Crying and mental health issues
      • Depression: Studies show that crying can alleviate depressive symptoms by reducing emotional distress and releasing negative feelings. However, excessive crying can lead to feelings of hopelessness and exacerbate depressive symptoms.
      • Anxiety: Crying can provide relief for individuals struggling with anxiety by helping to regulate emotions and calm the body. However, too much crying can lead to physical symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.
      • Stress: Crying can be a healthy way to cope with stress by releasing tension and promoting relaxation. However, excessive crying can cause physical fatigue, insomnia, and problems with concentration and memory.

    In conclusion, crying is a valuable tool for emotional processing and regulation, but like any behavior, excessive crying can lead to negative consequences. It is essential to recognize the impact of crying on our mental health and aim to strike a balance between emotional expression and self-care.

    Is crying an effective way to release toxins from the body?

    There has been a long-standing belief that crying is a natural way to release toxins from the body. Some people believe that crying can help to flush out harmful toxins and relieve stress. However, is there any scientific evidence to support this claim?

    • 1. Release of stress hormones:
    • Crying is known to release stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can create an unpleasant feeling in our body. As a result, crying can eventually lead to a reduction in stress and anxiety levels, which could be beneficial for overall health and well-being.

    • 2. Elimination of waste products:
    • Certain emotional tears that are produced during crying have been found to contain chemicals such as adrenocorticotropic hormones and enkephalins. Studies have shown that these chemicals can help to eliminate waste products from the body, which could improve overall health and well-being.

    • 3. Reduction of oxidative stress:
    • Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in the body. This can lead to cell damage and contribute to various health problems. Crying has been found to reduce oxidative stress by promoting the production of antioxidants in the tears.

    While there is some scientific evidence to support the idea that crying can release toxins from the body, it is important to note that the research on this topic is still very limited. Until we have more conclusive evidence, it is difficult to say whether crying is truly an effective way to eliminate harmful toxins from the body.

    May help to reduce stress and anxiety levels Research on the topic is still limited
    May promote the elimination of waste products Effectiveness may vary among individuals
    May reduce oxidative stress May not be a reliable method for releasing toxins from the body

    In conclusion, while there is some evidence to suggest that crying can be an effective way to release toxins from the body, more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of this natural process. For now, it is safe to say that crying can be an effective way to manage stress and improve overall health and well-being.

    How are stress and crying related?

    Stress is a natural response to challenging situations that we face in our daily lives. It is our body’s way of coping with the demands placed upon it. Stress can be caused by a variety of factors, including work pressures, relationship issues, financial difficulties, or health problems. Elevated levels of stress over prolonged periods can lead to various health issues, including anxiety, depression, and even physical illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

    Crying is a natural response to emotional distress, such as sadness, frustration, or anger. It is our body’s way of releasing pent-up emotions. Crying is known to relieve stress and help us feel better emotionally. However, excessive or prolonged crying has been linked to several health problems, including headaches, dizziness, and even dehydration.

    • Crying can be both a cause and effect of stress
    • Crying releases stress hormones, including cortisol, from the body
    • Suppressing tears can lead to increased stress and emotional tension

    When we experience stress, our body releases stress hormones, including cortisol, which trigger the fight-or-flight response. This response prepares our body to either fight the threat or run away from it. Crying is known to release stress hormones from the body, which can help reduce stress levels. However, if we suppress our tears, we could end up increasing emotional tension, which can lead to even more stress.

    However, excessive crying can also cause stress. When we cry for prolonged periods, our body loses fluids that could lead to dehydration, which could be a stressful situation for our bodies. Additionally, crying for extended periods could cause headaches, dizziness, and general weakness, which could further add to our stress levels.

    Effects of Crying on the Body Effects of Stress on the Body
    Relieves emotional tension Increases cortisol and adrenaline levels
    Releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller Raises blood pressure and heart rate
    Lowers blood pressure and heart rate Suppresses immune system function

    Therefore, stress and crying are closely related, and it is vital to manage both to maintain our physical and emotional well-being. While crying can be beneficial in the short term, it is vital to strike a balance and manage stress effectively to avoid potential long-term health problems.

    FAQs about Can Crying a Lot Make You Sick

    1. Is crying a lot bad for your health?

    Yes, crying a lot can have negative effects on your physical and mental health if done frequently and excessively.

    2. Can frequent crying lead to dehydration?

    Yes, crying can cause dehydration due to loss of fluids from the body through tears. However, this is only a concern if crying occurs frequently and continuously.

    3. Does crying weaken the immune system?

    Excessive crying can weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness and infection.

    4. Can crying too much lead to depression?

    Yes, crying excessively can result in depression or exacerbate existing depression symptoms.

    5. Is crying a sign of weakness?

    No, crying is a natural and healthy emotional response to stress, grief, or sadness.

    6. Can crying a lot lead to anxiety?

    Yes, excessive crying can trigger anxiety symptoms, such as panic attacks and chronic anxiety.

    7. How can I prevent the negative effects of crying too much?

    Talking to a therapist, practicing self-care, and finding healthy coping mechanisms can help prevent negative effects of crying excessively.

    Closing Thoughts

    Thank you for reading our FAQs about crying excessively. Remember, it’s okay to cry, but doing so too much can negatively impact your mental and physical health. Be sure to take care of yourself, seek professional help if needed, and keep checking back for more insightful articles.