Why stress is so bad for you.

I’ve kept telling my GP’s that I am suffering stress BUT NO they know better and treat the symptoms and ignore THE CAUSE.

When we feel threatened, our bodies automatically get ready to deal with the perceived danger by readying themselves for ‘fight or flight’. The adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, release the ‘stress’ hormone adrenaline, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate. The liver releases more sugar into the bloodstream. Another hormone called cortisol is released, keeping blood pressure and bloodsugar rates high, keeping us alert.

Although the body can cope with sudden stress, over the longer term, raised levels of these hormones and other chemicals produced are thought to be damaging and could lead to heart disease and high blood pressure.

Stress physiologist Mark Hamer, of University College London, says: ‘Originally, these physical changes were needed to protect our cavemen ancestors when they were in fear of their lives. ‘Now we are more likely to feel under pressure from deadlines, exams or emotional anguish. Stress hormones flood the body but we don’t burn them off.’ Scientists have learnt that cortisol can suppress the immune system, raise blood pressure and change the way your body handles fats and sugars. Excess levels in the body can damage parts of the brain affecting memory and cause depression.

According to the British Heart Foundation, stress can be a contributing factor to heart attacks and stroke, certainly causing the symptoms of angina.

In those suffering chronic stress, the normal release of cortisol may be disrupted, with levels remaining elevated throughout the day. ‘This can lead to diabetes and hypertension,’ says Hamer.



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