So, this is the third week of Love Your Heart month. Heart health, and awareness should be at the top of your list. For people with CKD, believe it or not Cardiac Disease is the top killer. I put Stress, and Hypertension together in one post, because they very much go hand in hand. I won’t go into all the specifics about stress, but I will share an article that you can read for more specifics.
Stress is a very broad term, and anything can be a stressor. A stressor is the thing that causes the stress response in the body. The very top things that cause stress are everyday life matters such as money, marriage, work, illness, family, etc. For men, and Type A personalities, stress can be especially deadly on the heart. The report, that I will share, states that men who have 3 stressful life events are more likely to die from a Heart Attack. If you add smoking, HTN, and high cholesterol to the stress mix, and you have a heart disaster in the making. Plus we all respond differently to stress, and some stress is a good thing, especially if it makes you make real and positive changes in your life. I am a type A personality, and over the years I have had to learn to say No, know my limits, and not allow my personality to destroy my health. My job is extremely stressful, I work 2 days a week in a Assisted Living Facility with Memory Care. I was just offered a promotion, and had the where with all to turn it down, as much as my Type A personality was screaming at me to do it. Knowing my limits allowed me to say no to something I know deep down will not be good for me. These are not things that come naturally, but are things you can teach yourself, as I did. It took many years, being a mother, and a nurse to make me see that my own personality was not helping me. That doesn’t mean Type B personalities don’t have stress, that is not true. We all have stress, it is how we cope with it that makes the difference. If you have no coping skills, other than anger, hostility, or self hate, then you don’t have good coping skills, and you need to train your brain to have some. Mindfulness is the first step to reducing all stress.
So, how does stress relate to HTN? When you are stressed, remember there are many different types of stress, the body produces a rush of hormones in response to the stressor. These hormones cause your heart to beat faster, and your blood vessels to constrict, that causes a short term rise in blood pressure. Hypertension, or HTN is a long term, or chronic, rise in blood pressure. Studies have shown that stress, that is not dealt with, or allowed to build up over long periods of time, lead to chronic HTN. HTN is one of the leading risk factors for Cardiac Disease. So, learning to deal with stress, along with other health choices, such as diet, exercise, and cessation of smoking, can all lead to a healthier heart. For some people the only risk factor they have is stress.
If you would like to learn ways to cope with stress, use the contact button, or my email address, at the top of the home page, to message me for a free meet and greet.
Read more about stress here.