According to statistics more than 94 percent of adults believe that stress can contribute to the development of major illnesses, such as heart disease, depression and obesity.
Some types of stress can trigger heart attacks, arrhythmias and even sudden death, particularly in people who already have cardiovascular disease. Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
Stress not only amplifies anxiety and depression it also weakens the immune system. A weaker immune increases the risk of becoming sick or accentuates the health problems that you already have. For instance with stress you are more likely to catch a cold / sinus infection or develop shingles. If you currently have arthritis or an autoimmune disorder symptoms will get worse. Stress can even cause a heart attack!
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC), informally known as stress cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome is a real condition that has abrupt onset of symptoms similar to a heart attack. Ninety percent of the time, this condition affects women, who are usually middle aged and older, especially after menopause. The condition is typically triggered by a sudden stressful / traumatic event, including the death of a loved one. Sudden physical stress such as an asthma attack or extreme low blood sugar can also be a trigger.
Sudden stressful / traumatic events can trigger your "fight or flight" mechanism of the nervous system so the body unleashes a flood of chemicals, including adrenaline. This in effect can stun your heart muscle, leaving it unable to pump blood out to the body properly. As a result one may develop heart failure. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again (although in some cases it can be fatal).
Dr. Scott W. Sharkey, a research cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and a physician at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis says, "It's important that physicians are aware this is not a rare a condition, as it is present in nearly 10 percent of women who present to the hospital with suspected heart attacks."
When stress is all around you there are lots of things you can do naturally without side effects to tone down the over reactions.
First of all significantly reduce or totally eliminate caffeine. It does not help the situation. Ween off slowly! Don’t skip meals and don’t gorge on sugary foods including alcohol and fruits. High and low blood sugar levels affect your moods and stress levels. Drink a calming tea with meals!
Exercise regularly even for just 10-15 minutes to burn excess negative energy. Remember to do deep breathing exercises daily and try a relaxation yoga DVD. Don’t take on more than you can comfortably do, pace yourself and remember to have fun. All work and no play is not a good recipe for your mental health.
- Calm & Calmer (Lifetime Vitamins) is a supplement that contains L-Theanine which is an amino acid found in green tea and extracted out. It helps to calm the mind of racing or worrying thoughts without making you sleepy. In fact it actually helps to make you more focused, less distracted and overwhelmed. Relora is an herbal combination of magnolia and phellodenron which have a calming effect on the adrenal glands (which activate the fight or flight hormones). This adrenaline rush often precipitates panic attacks. Relora helps to keep the adrenals from over reacting in stressful situations without making you sleepy.
If you tend to have just worrisome thoughts you can purchase Theanine separately or if you are prone to anxiety attacks (fight or flight feeling}then plain Relora may be a better choice for you.
- Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower) is a combination flower essence that helps to diminish overwhelming emotions, particularly when they are unpredictable. It is handy to carry around with you in your pocket or purse. Just few drops in the mouth or topically as often as needed. It also comes as a lozenge and cream. Best of all you can’t overdose on Rescue remedy and it is safe for any age and does not interfere with medication.
- Relax-o-zyme (Enzymatic Therapy) is a somewhat more potent natural relaxer which contains premium extracts of valerian, passion flower, and hops. These herbs are combined with nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6, which are important for proper nervous system function. It is particularly beneficial for stress that causes neck and back tension/tightness or tension headaches.
- Adrenal Support (NatraBio) If you have chronic stress the adrenal glands take a beating and often need a little help which prevents them from over-reacting. People who have hives or allergic reactions often have stressed adrenal glands. This homeopathic formula is safe for anyone.
Stress can affect our health on so many levels! Get ahead of the stress and soon you will be amazed how great you can feel!
Jane Jansen Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center
Host Holistic Healthline Radio