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Prolonged stress leads to multiple inner health problems

By Dr SonaliKolte General Manager, MedicoMarketing Metropolis Healthcare Stress – just the word may be enough to set your nerves on edge.Everyone is stressed in some form or other. Some people handlestress effectively or recover from stressful situations quicker than others. Stress is good if it is a short term phenomenon and pushes you to achieve your goals or targets, but it is harmful, if it prolongs or becomes routine. Stress can be defined as a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. We usually tend to think that stress can lead to negativity, but that isn’t the case always. However, anything that puts high demands and forces you to adjust accordingly can be stressful. Stress may have adverse effect on your health, but one may not realize it. Chronic unrelenting stress has become so common in modern life; provoking feelings of hopelessness; what is usually termed as a defeat response. Stress and emotions related to stress trigger chemical reactions in the body and leads to increased fat storage, abdominal obesity, tissue breakdown, suppression of the immune system, increased risk for heart disease etc. The human body is wired to react to stress in a particular manner which helps you prepare for a situation. Imagine a close encounter with a speeding car; this is when you encounter a perceived threat. The hypothalamus, which is a small portion of the brain, sets off your body in to an alarm mode. A combination of nerve and hormonal responses signals the adrenal gland to release hormones that includes Adrenaline and Cortisol. When stressors are always present and the subsequent exposure to these hormones, especially cortisol for a prolonged period leads to a lowered BMI, increased fat storage and increases risk for hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, stress also wrecks the immune system. During stress, cortisol suppresses the inflammation process and over a period of time the body develops resistance to cortisol. Additionally, cortisol and corticosteroids suppresses lymphocytes and puts the body at an increased risk of infection such as influenza and other diseases. There are multiple ways to cope up with stress; which begins with identifying the sources of stress and dealing with it. Since stress has a direct impact on health, it is important to regularly monitor health parameters to make sure your vital organs are performing well. A typical health package to monitor stress and its effects would include tests to measure blood sugar, cholesterol, lipids, cortisol etc. This tells you if you are at risk for heart disease, stroke and gives an overall indication of your inner health. To conclude: “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it”, Says Hans Selye, author of The Stress of Life. What is your reaction to stress?

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Lifestyle

Five minute tips to relieve stress at work

At office, we are constantly faced with stress. Projects, deadlines, late hours and multitasking could take a toll on your health. It is important to de-stress while you are at work. It improves your health and also helps you perform better.Here are 5 simple tips to relieve stress at work: Just close your eyes and think of a favourite happy memory: It could be a great birthday party that you recently attended or time you spent with your loved ones. Browse through a photo album of a much enjoyed vacation: Today our smart phones are full of happy memories. Browse through the photos and relax Practise deep breathing: Perhaps the best and easiest way to relieve stress. Deep breathing helps in relieving stress. Keep a glass of water in front of you are imagine that you are drowning your worries in it. Simply stretching your legs or a small walk around your office stress could also divert your mind and take off your stress

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Lifestyle

What happens to the body when we are stressed?

We commonly hear people saying that we are living in stressful times. While some serious situations like a financial burden or a member of the family suffering from a disease could lead to long-term stress, we constantly feel stressed out. Deadlines, projects, traffic jams and a work-life imbalance contribute to stress. Physical and mental stress puts the body in a fight mode and this leads to a series of events in the body. So what exactly happens when you get stressed out? Stress causes whole body deterioration and here is how.When we get stressed, stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are released.Cortisol enhances our brain’s use of glucose. In stressful conditions our blood sugar level goes up. In cases of prolonged stress, constantly elevated levels of blood sugar may lead to diabetes. In addition cortisol gears body’s repair mechanism and supresses non-essential functions like digestive system , reproductive system and regular growth process. Adrenaline of the other hand boosts energy along with increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Once the body feels that the stress is relieved, hormone levels return to normal, heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels and the system resumes their regular functions. The problem with stress is twofold. Constant and prolonged stress leads to elevated blood sugar, blood pressure and heart rate. Also our reaction to stress is important. Some people smoke or take a drink to relieve stress which only further compounds the problem. Healthier options are yoga, exercise, meditation or even reading a book and listening to music.

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