Stress causes heart attacks.

Stress causes heart attacks.

If you have ever wondered whether or not high-stress levels can lead to heart disease, then the answer is an absolute yes. Recent research published in April 2019 in the British Medical Journal, compared the health data of 136,637 Swedes and found that those who had post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder or an acute stress reaction were 37% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than the general populating.  The types of cardiovascular diseases that people were likely to develop included ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, embolism/thrombosis, hypertensive disease, heart failure, and arrhythmia/conduction disorder.

What Type of Stress Can Cause Heart Disease

Unfortunately, most of us never escape stress in our lives, which means that most of us are quite vulnerable when it comes to developing some kind of cardiovascular disease.  However, some people are less equipped emotionally, mentally and physically to deal with that stress.  The types of stress that can cause these issues to include the death of a loved one, a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, violence or a natural disaster.

How Stress Affects Your Cardiovascular Health

There are a number of ways that stress can directly affect your cardiovascular health including –

•    Increased blood pressure that can lead to endothelial dysfunction and arteriosclerosis
•    Chronically raised cortisol levels, a hormone that is released in response to stress, that can also raise blood sugar and blood triglycerides (both are risk factors for heart disease)
•    Chronic inflammation that is a precursor to heart inflammation
•    Plaque build up in the arteries that lead to heart attacks
•    Autonomic dysfunction that can lead to heart failure
•    Dysregulation of the pituitary gland that can lead to heart failure
•    Changes in brain chemistry that can lead to lack of sleep, smoking, and overeating (lifestyle habits that contribute to heart disease)

Of course, the only way to address this to reduce your stress by avoiding high-stress lifestyles that were linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Reduce Your Risk By Adopting a Low-Stress Lifestyle

It is well known that high levels of stress spike overactivity in the “fear” center of the brain known as the amygdala. This region, located in our temporal lobe assists with the processing of emotions, including emotional memories of all kinds as well as help us adopt a fright or flight response.  The British Medical Study found that those with higher activity in the amygdala on a daily business were the most at risk of a cardiac event.  That is because there is a definite association between the brain’s fear center and arterial inflammation, which in turn can cause that heart attack or stroke. A heart attack or stroke can also be triggered by a large amount of adrenalin, thus narrowing the arteries that supply blood to your heart and cause a heart attack.

Address the Signs of Stress Immediately

Stress has become such an everyday reality for most people that they do not realize when they are getting too wound up to be functional. Signs of stress include:

*Sleeping poorly or having trouble falling asleep
*Excessive fatigue
*Changes in appetite such as lack of appetite or overeating
*Feeling overwhelmed, sad or irritable, or frequent crying spells
*Binge drinking
*Losing temper easily
*Suffering headaches and many different types of aches and pains

There are many different ways to counteract this type of stress, and if you are overwhelmed, or do not know where to start, you might want to consult with Dr. Rahman or one of the other natural health experts at the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre. Feel free to contact us here at our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.  We also offer a full roster of health services that can be perused on the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website including acupuncture for stress, naturally cleanses, anti-aging therapies, Toronto weight loss, iv vitamin drip therapy, hypnotherapy, homeopathy, infrared blood analysis and more.

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