Stress has become an inevitable part of our daily lives, given the tight deadlines in office and our unhealthy lifestyle choices. Though a small amount of stress is acceptable and even helpful in some circumstances, prolonged stress can be harmful to our overall health, especially the cardiovascular system.....CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

Impact of chronic stress on heart

Chronic stress triggers a cascade of physiological responses in the body, including the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, says Dr Sameer Gupta, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Group Director, Cardiac Cath Lab & Director, Metro Group of Hospitals, Noida. These hormones can elevate blood pressure, increase heart rate, and cause inflammation in the arteries, he says.

Over time, this persistent stress response can lead to damage to the blood vessels, making them more susceptible to plaque buildup and narrowing, a hallmark of coronary artery disease.

Additionally, chronic stress can contribute to the development of hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Moreover, prolonged exposure to stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart failure, as it can weaken the heart muscle over time.

How to reduce chronic stress and cardiovascular risk

Dr Gupta suggests several strategies that can help lessen the impact of stress on our cardiovascular health:

Exercise regularly: Engage in regular physical activity, as exercise is not only beneficial for cardiovascular health but also acts as a natural stress reliever. Aim for at least 30–40 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.

Adopt healthy lifestyle: Maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and limit the intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and excess salt. Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption, as these habits can further increase the risk of heart disease.

Get adequate sleep: Prioritise getting adequate sleep each night, as chronic sleep deprivation can exacerbate stress levels and negatively impact cardiovascular health. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Seek professional help: If you’re struggling to cope with chronic stress, don’t hesitate to seek support from a mental health professional. Therapy, counseling, or support groups can provide valuable tools and resources for managing stress more effectively….CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

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