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How stress causes acute illness: Active stress relief protects the heart


Permanent stress: This is how you protect yourself from a risk to your heart and circulation
Long-term stress affects health and, according to health experts, can affect every organ in humans. It can lead to gastrointestinal complaints or skin problems. Above all, chronic stress poses a risk of cardiovascular diseases. Targeted stress relief can protect the heart.

Permanent stress endangers health
Those who are constantly under stress are more likely to get sick. It is known that stress, among other things, can cause sleep disorders, gastrointestinal problems, an increased susceptibility to infections, tinnitus or a rash. Above all, however, chronic stress is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiac arrhythmia and thus also for heart attack and stroke.

Experts provide tips for dealing with stress
So that there is no danger to the heart in the first place, those affected should consider a few important points when dealing with stress, which experts have now explained in the new guide "Psychological and Social Stress", which is available from the German Heart Foundation.

“Constant stress, which is not followed by relaxation, makes you sick, because it can easily lead many people into behaviors that ruin the cardiovascular system: those affected often take a cigarette, eat frustration unhealthily, become overweight or drink too much Alcohol and exercise too little, ”explained Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Heinz Ladwig from the Scientific Advisory Board of the Heart Foundation.

The professor of psychosomatic medicine and medical psychology at the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich and the Helmholtz-Zentrum München continued: “Lack of sleep is also a common problem. The result is high blood pressure, diabetes, CAD and rhythm disorders. "

Adaptation reaction of the body
As the Heart Foundation writes in its communication, stress is not fundamentally a bad thing. The human organism releases stress hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) for lightning-fast reactions in stressful and dangerous situations, which accelerate the heartbeat, increase blood pressure or stimulate breathing. Stress is therefore the body's adaptation reaction to the forces that act on it from its environment.

"Tension is part of life, but it has to be followed by relaxation, otherwise the constant stress leads to exhaustion and immune deficiency," said Prof. Ladwig. "We are more susceptible to infections and other diseases under chronic stress."

Healthier lifestyle with regular exercise
According to experts such as Prof. Ladwig, effective stress management includes changing lifestyle through smoking cessation, regular exercise, healthy eating, weight normalization and moderate alcohol consumption, as well as including everyday psychosocial problems in the treatment.

"It is best to learn to deal with stress before hypertension or diabetes develop from constant stress," says Prof. He recommends taking a close look at everyday life from a distance - so to speak, from a helicopter perspective - and asking for alternatives that one Allow relief.

No passive relaxation in front of the TV
And: "Endurance exercise is not only an excellent anti-stress agent, but has also proven itself as a sleep aid." Yoga or autogenic training are also suitable for reducing stress. Progressive muscle relaxation also relieves stress. Relaxed tea or walking barefoot are also small exercises that can help against everyday stress.

Prof. Ladwig sees advantages in relaxation techniques especially when one has to concentrate on the breath and one's own body, because these moments led away from the stress-triggering problems. He advises against television as a variant of passive relaxation. (ad)

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Video: The Relationship Between Stress and Cardiovascular Disease (August 2021).