3rd Aug 2017

Can stress kill you?

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stress kills
Lucy Fallick

Some of us thrive on having the adrenaline pumping, but just how harmful is stress to our health? The answer, in short, is very harmful.

Stress is the pressure that we feel in response to strenuous external factors, such as pressure at work, in relationships or financial matters. Too much stress is usually associated with a feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to cope. This can place a significant amount of strain on the body, causing cortisol levels to rise and inflammation around the body to occur.

During times of high stress, the body’s fight-or-flight-response is activated, triggering the sympathetic nervous system to raise both the heart rate and blood pressure. Because the body has to work harder to handle the challenge (real or perceived), it can become fatigued and more susceptible to illness and infection. Prolonged exposure to stress has been linked to numerous serious health conditions, ranging from cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure to diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Related articles:
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How to harness stress
Stress less through exercise
You think I might be STRESSED?!



Stress does not only have physical effects on the body, it also affects our emotional health, our thoughts and our behaviours. Mental health conditions including anxiety and depression can be caused or exacerbated by stress. Similarly, stress can lead to negative and harmful behaviours, such as smoking, heavy drinking or weight problems, which can further damage your health or lead to death.

Stress is a very real and serious problem. While it may not directly cause death, stress can be fatal indirectly through a related disease, mental health condition or harmful behaviour.

Stress cannot be avoided altogether; it is part and parcel of life. But steps can be taken to minimise the level of stress that you experience and how you respond to it. According to the Better Health Channel website, ensuring that you exercise regularly, eat well, have a regular sleep routine, lead a balanced life with time for both relaxation and enjoyment, and avoid conflict as much as possible, are the best ways to reduce stress in your life.

If you are concerned about your level of stress you may wish to speak to your GP about your options for management and treatment.

 





COMMENTS

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Raphael
10th Aug 2017
11:44am
This article is stressing me out
Have to have a Valium and a lie down
Rosret
10th Aug 2017
11:49am
Absolutely it can kill. Its interesting you have an article on loneliness being a bigger killer than xyz. However stress in the old days was worrying about being eaten by a lion today's stress is caused by people, noise, and being made feel bad about not being able to meet impossible deadlines or being stuck in traffic which means you will miss an appointment or risk being frowned upon by the employer.
Stress overload will fry the brain, the muscles, the heart, the nervous system and impact on the immune system.
So when one article on YLC says loneliness kills I can promise you stress kills faster.
There is one little tip I have found from growing wise and old - don't catch someone else's stress.
Step back, evaluate and determine how much of the person's behaviour in your vicinity is warranted and how much needs to be acted upon. Because as sure as you become alarmed then all of a sudden there are two stressed people and not just one.
Polly Esther
10th Aug 2017
12:02pm
I agree Rosret, very wise words from you, take heed people!!
could be worse
10th Aug 2017
12:32pm
Stress not only kills you and quickly if you can't control it, it also causes dementia. The best way to avoid stress, is to avoid the situation that makes you stressed. If its your job, change jobs. If its a relative friend or person you know, avoid them or write a letter to them telling them how you feel and why, and what its doing to you, be logical not angry. If its your children you may need to get help. love to all.
Nissy
10th Aug 2017
7:22pm
I have suffered from complex PTSD, anxiety and depression since i was 3 years old. Follow that with a 30 year DV marriage and thyroid and adrenal fatigue. I had 2 extremely stressful jobs over the following 15 years and I ended up having a stress heart attack. My ECG was normal and blood pressure not too bad. It was only when they did the blood test that they found out I'd had the heart attack from my body running on cortisol and adrenalin for most of my life. That was on the Friday, I had to wait till Monday for the angiogram and the radiologist was astonished at how my badly my heart was still spasming after 3 days. Stress is a major killer, people are lucky if they don't have strokes from it....


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