Pay attention to the effects of stress on heart health!

Although it is a part of normal life, when stress cannot be controlled, it can lead to emotional, psychological and even physical problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, arrhythmias and chest pain. Stress, first defined by Hans Selye in the 1930s, is by definition a biological response to negative emotions and events.


The main causes of stress are as follows; illnesses, death of a loved one, family-friend relationships, work pressure, starting a new job, unemployment, retirement, pregnancy, busy environments, moving, legal problems, financial problems and perfectionism. Many people are under a lot of pressure due to modernization. It mainly affects women under the age of 50. SYMPTOMS? In the first phase, alarm and resistance reactions occur. Burnout can occur as a result of not being able to deal with stress. Due to increased adrenaline and similar hormones, the heart rate and thus the blood pressure begins to increase. If the person can cope with this situation, then an attempt is made to correct the lost in time. After being under stress for a long time, the body begins to give various warning signals. Sometimes these behavioral, emotional, and intuitive symptoms can be ignored. When these symptoms are felt, one should act more slowly and cautiously away from the source of stress. These symptoms include generalized physical weakness, headache, sweating – hand tremors, fatigue, upset stomach, attention deficit, memory problems, sexual problems, anger, crying, depression, rapid changes in emotional state, hypersensitivity, negative thoughts, irritability, sadness. excessive hunger or eating, overreacting, starting to use alcohol and drugs, breaking of family and friends relationships will be seen. The exhaustion phase, in which the person’s resolve is broken, is the final phase, in which serious psychological problems arise and serious physical problems that reflect this.


As these tables develop, the main goal is; to control these complaints. Some methods are developed by the person himself, sometimes he needs professional help. For example; eating and drinking in a balanced way, limiting alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, stopping smoking, resting at certain times of the day, avoiding perfectionism, taking up hobbies, spending enough time for oneself.


In Turkey, 130,000 out of 2 million die of cardiovascular disease every year. One of the main reasons for the increase in heart disease is stress. Occupations with a high dose of stress bring bad habits, which increase the risk of developing heart disease. Modern medicine has shown with many clinical studies that stress causes cardiovascular diseases. While stress is a risk factor in itself, it also increases the bad qualities of other risk factors by causing high blood pressure and cholesterol. For example, if you work in a highly stressful environment, your blood pressure and heart rate will likely be as high as those who smoke, even if you don’t smoke. In addition, people living under chronic stress will increase levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormone levels will facilitate blood clotting. These changes have many effects on the circulatory and nervous systems. Medically, this attack-or-flight picture causes an increase in heart rate, which directs blood to the muscles, releases the fatty acids into the blood, increases the rate of breathing, and stretches the muscles. As a result, on the heart;

1. Heart rate increases, arrhythmias can occur.

2. Stroke risk increases with elevated blood pressure

3.The risk of heart attack increases with the increase in blood fat and facilitating blood clotting ability.

4. Reduced eating and drinking, smoking, increased cortisol levels lead to apple-type obesity, which facilitates the formation of blood pressure, diabetes and cancer in the future. The so-called ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’, which has been heard a lot in recent years, is also related to stress. The body, exposed to excessive stress, reveals this situation by showing symptoms similar to a heart attack, such as severe chest pain. It was discovered by Hiraru Sato in 1990 and given the medical name Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. It affects the left side of the heart and is actually a temporary condition. It is thought to develop due to the hormones secreted during stress. Many stressful situations – not necessarily psychological stress – for example, asthma attack, accidents, epilepsy attack, serious surgery can also cause this syndrome. Diagnosis is made by ECG and echocardiography. It is necessary to exclude vascular occlusions by performing coronary angiography on the patient. The drug treatment is organized with the information obtained as a result of these studies. The disease heals on its own and resolves within 1-3 weeks, but severe heart failure and severe fatal arrhythmias can also be seen occasionally.

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