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How stress can affect heart health I Shaio

Stress is a natural and adaptive reaction that people have when a situation arises that is out of control, for example work overload, a conflicting environment, the death of a person, a divorce or financial difficulty, which in the long can manifest itself physically harming health.

Heart disease has many factors that trigger it, but stress is one of the strongest because it directly affects the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system that controls the heart, and triggers hormonal and inflammatory phenomena in the body.

What consequences does stress have on the heart?

A person being stressed releases high amounts of cortisol, catecholamines and adrenaline which have a high negative impact on the heart. According to the Framingham study, stress makes the heart work harder, blood thickens, arteries lose elasticity, and substances build up in the walls, causing difficulty in blood flow, in addition to the more the ability to destroy thrombi is lost. and the cardiovascular system becomes more vulnerable to this type of obstruction, this is called “stressed heart”.

This risk factor has a wide range of effects, in the smallest of cases it can contribute to the development of heart attacks, high blood pressure and even heart failure, in very extreme cases you can get it Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndromewhich is characterized by the enlargement or dilation of the heart, similar to a ball, following a very stressful event.

Some consequent symptoms of cardiomyopathy for Stress

Highly stressed patients may have the same heart attack symptoms:

Stress not only affects the heart, it can also affect the circulatory system in the company of other risk factors such as high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, genetic factors, among others.

How to avoid complications due to stress?

Since it is an emotional situation, it is advisable to identify the root of the problem, it is not the same day-to-day stress as a repetitive traumatic event or chronic stress, but some techniques that can be performed to lower the levels are :

  • Breathing and relaxation

  • Outdoor activities

  • Healthy routines

  • Balanced diets

  • Social activities, except those that you know will generate alterations.

  • Sleep hygiene

  • meditation

If this does not work, other specialties such as psychology or psychiatry are turned to, and medically speaking of matters of the heart, for example if a patient develops coronary disease or hypertension as a result of stress, pharmacological treatment is started.

This article had the advice of Dr. Osmar Pérez, cardiologist at the Shaio Clinic.

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