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Stress & Your Heart

Everyone has dealt with stress before, whether it’s a result of family problems, social anxieties, or a busy day at work. While stress is normal, chronic stress makes it more difficult to sleep, affects your mood or behavior, and begins to manifest itself physically.

“People have become so used to juggling many different things they don’t realize stress is affecting them physically,” says Riti Patel, MD, cardiologist at Lankenau Medical Center. “That’s not the case. Left untreated, stress can be a contributor to serious health issues.”

Among those health issues-high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and aging. It can also cause physical symptoms like headache, upset stomach, chest pain, and muscle tension, as well as behavioral problems like anxiety and depression.

Lessen your stress and your risk for future health problems by finding different ways to cope. Make time during the day or on the weekends for activities you enjoy, including exercise, which has a number of health benefits. Try alternative methods of relaxation like mediation or yoga.

Finally, make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. Getting seven hours of sleep might seem like enough, but not if you’re tossing and turning or waking up repeatedly.

Dr. Patel says it’s important to understand that our bodies’ response to stress is beneficial in the right instances, but with chronic stress that response does not shut off.

“The first step in addressing stress is admitting you have it and accepting it won’t ever disappear completely,” explains Dr. Patel. “You’ll always have to deal with some stress, but you can lessen the impact by eating and sleeping better, exercising, and  finding ways to clear your mind. Find the coping mechanism that works for you.”

Chronic stress is a serious health risk. Don’t ignore it. If you’re feeling stressed, don’t second guess yourself. Make an appointment with a doctor you feel comfortable having an honest and open conversation with.

 
Posted by Main Line Health on 7/1/2013 8:56:00 AM
Read more articles about: Lankenau, Riti_Patel_MD, Heart

Stress & Your Heart

Everyone has dealt with stress before, whether it’s a result of family problems, social anxieties, or a busy day at work. While stress is normal, chronic stress makes it more difficult to sleep, affects your mood or behavior, and begins to manifest itself physically.

“People have become so used to juggling many different things they don’t realize stress is affecting them physically,” says Riti Patel, MD, cardiologist at Lankenau Medical Center. “That’s not the case. Left untreated, stress can be a contributor to serious health issues.”

Among those health issues-high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and aging. It can also cause physical symptoms like headache, upset stomach, chest pain, and muscle tension, as well as behavioral problems like anxiety and depression.

Lessen your stress and your risk for future health problems by finding different ways to cope. Make time during the day or on the weekends for activities you enjoy, including exercise, which has a number of health benefits. Try alternative methods of relaxation like mediation or yoga.

Finally, make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. Getting seven hours of sleep might seem like enough, but not if you’re tossing and turning or waking up repeatedly.

Dr. Patel says it’s important to understand that our bodies’ response to stress is beneficial in the right instances, but with chronic stress that response does not shut off.

“The first step in addressing stress is admitting you have it and accepting it won’t ever disappear completely,” explains Dr. Patel. “You’ll always have to deal with some stress, but you can lessen the impact by eating and sleeping better, exercising, and  finding ways to clear your mind. Find the coping mechanism that works for you.”

Chronic stress is a serious health risk. Don’t ignore it. If you’re feeling stressed, don’t second guess yourself. Make an appointment with a doctor you feel comfortable having an honest and open conversation with.

 
Posted by Main Line Health on 7/1/2013 8:56:00 AM
Read more articles about: Lankenau, Riti_Patel_MD, Heart
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