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Stress: A Risk to your Health

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Stress is more than just a barrage of emotions on your mind; it is also an attack on your body and its overall health. If you are prone to be ridden with anxiety you may be more susceptible to the following ailments.

1. Cardiovascular Disease - There are many other contributors to cardiovascular disease including diet and lack of exercise but coupled with stress, these ailments need not to work as hard to damage the heart. Cardiovascular disease is a serious risk to you and your well-being if not taken seriously. If your risk for the disease is higher than other due to family history, obesity, or high blood pressure, it is in your best interest to pursue a stress free and healthy, active lifestyle.

2. Change in Eating Habits – During times of stress many turn to or away from food to deal with feelings of overwhelming anxiety. Depending on the individual reaction to stress, weight loss or gain can occur. This is not a safe way to lose weight and can deteriorate your metabolism if not approached properly. Some find refuge in food, a constant amongst the ever-changing life around them. If you anticipate an episode of high stress in your life (i.e. an approaching deadline, an upcoming event, etc.) try to plan meals ahead, setting aside snacks to keep you energized throughout the day. This will keep you level headed and guilt free, curbing the desire to binge.

3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome – A weak stomach may not be correlated to stress directly but the emotional sensitivity that is associated with the disorder may only be aggravated by it. Stressful times don’t have to mean discomfort. In conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise, relaxation, adequate sleep, and plenty of water can do wonders for your digestive tract and peace of mind.

4. Gastric Ulcers – Stomach ulcers are caused by bacterial infections. When your mind and body are busy fighting off other ailments brought on by stress and anxiety your immune system may be weakened, leaving your body more susceptible to bacterial infections such as ulcers. Ulcers bring on more than just stomach pain and may be a debilitating disease that you must seek treatment for. Other aggravates of stomach ulcers include smoking and drinking, two factors, along with stress, which accelerate diminishing health.

Each person is unique and their attitudes toward stress and their remedies for it will vary dramatically. You are the expert on your own body and what works for you in alleviating anxiety and stress. Seek out those things in your life that bring you happiness and keep stress at bay, they may save your life.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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