Thursday, April 2, 2009

How does stress level affect overall risk of getting heart disease?

Stress and depression, both have been linked with diabetes and heart disease. Understanding these two factors can actually help our doctor formulate a suitable treatment plan. So, it is important that we share this with our health care provider even if they forget to ask. Any kind of stress or depression can lead to more complications, if left untreated.

Stress causes release of some hormones which can further lead to elevated blood glucose levels. When the blood glucose levels increase and if there is not enough insulin being produced by the body or if the insulin is not working properly, then this results in excessive glucose in the blood, which can ultimately lead to development of diabetes.

Stress can come from many sources, including stress from one’s occupation, job strain especially in this economy as we are going through recession; many of us are losing jobs, homes, which is very sad and unfortunate. So, this stress can cause increased production of a stress hormone called cortisol, which then makes the liver produce more glucose, which means more glucose in blood and less usage of glucose by the tissues, less insulin production by our pancreas, thereby causing a condition called insulin resistance. This insulin resistance can finally lead to diabetes and/ or heart disease.

It is extremely important to maintain blood glucose levels, especially in diabetics and this can be done through stress management training. Sharing the cause of stress with the primary care doctor, family or friends is always helpful. Sometimes, social support can reduce the stress and this way it can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Similarly, depression causes several changes in our hormones thereby leading to a hormone imbalance, can decrease body’s immunity; can affect changes in bone metabolism; and can cause cardiovascular dysfunction. This can result in decreased quality of life. People living under any kind of depression are at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

What should be done to avoid becoming a victim of conditions like stress and depression?

Hormone balance, in addition to healthy diet and exercise, is the answer. Hormones affect everyday health and wellness by interacting with every single cell inside our bodies, and if these do not do their job well, a negative ripple effect is created thereby disrupting overall homeostasis resulting in damaged and disturbed physiology. Therefore, it has been suggested by various published scientific studies that keeping the hormone levels of the body in proper balance within the normal ranges helps in reducing risk of getting diagnosed with conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

No comments:

Post a Comment