Long-Term Stress Can Lead to Heart Trouble

Stress is an inevitable part of life and even a necessity.

The rush of meeting a deadline or the challenge of taking up a new hobby are examples of short-term stress. But long-term stress can damage our health. The past three years of battling COVID-19 should have everyone evaluating how to better manage their long-term stress. Other long term stress factors can include caring for a sick relative, a high-stress work environment, and financial difficulties. These factors can trigger stress, but what exactly is long-term stress doing to your body?

Stress triggers the release of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

These hormones cause the body to respond in many different ways, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and a constriction of blood vessels. Over time, chronic stress can lead to potential heart disease according to the American Heart Association.
To reduce the burden of chronic stress, people often can turn to things that contribute to a decline in their heart health. When we are under stress, we may be more likely to reach for unhealthy foods or engage in other unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking or drinking alcohol, which can further increase our risk of heart disease.

What can we do to prevent stress from turning into heart disease?

There are several steps we can take to manage stress and protect our heart health. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep can all help to reduce stress and improve heart health. Mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques can also be effective ways to manage stress. But the best way to reduce your chance of heart disease from stress

Get A Screening at RMC Foundation’s Heart Day

At RMC, we take heart health seriously by offering full heart health profiles through the RMC Foundation. Every year the RMC Foundation aims to bridge the gap for those who may not have the opportunity to get these health screenings anywhere else. For a low cost, this exam gives you an EKG, a lipid profile, a blood pressure screening, a complete metabolic profile, and a c-protein test. These tests are quick and done in one visit. Spots are available on February 23rd and 24th of 2023. Call 844-RMC-APPT.

It’s important to recognize the signs of chronic stress and take steps to manage it before it takes a toll on our health. While preventative medicine will give you a picture of your heath, remember to take steps to improve it. Cutting or reducing risk factors like cigarettes and alcohol can help manage your blood pressure. And yes, that also includes red wine. Finding healthily alternatives to unhealthy habits or creating new ones can help reduce everyday stress. Taking a walk everyday for exercise can help with your cardiovascular health and can be coupled with mindful meditation to help ease some stress. However, some cases of chronic stress may need medical attention.

If you are experiencing symptoms of stress, such as fatigue, irritability, or difficulty sleeping, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional for guidance and support.