Stress Archive

Articles

Fighting fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom that can be caused by a whole host of factors, from medical conditions to stress and poor sleep. In order to ease ongoing fatigue, it's important to investigate and treat the underlying cause. Fatigue that doesn't respond to interventions or is severe or persistent should be brought to the attention of a doctor. It may be caused by a medical condition.

How to avoid a relapse when things seem out of control

This year has been extremely stressful for everyone, and that stress can lead to harmful habits. For those working to stay in recovery from an addiction, the challenge is even more profound. Those in this situation know that the more stressful things are, the more important it is to practice the healthy habits that sustain recovery.

Treating the pain of endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs in women when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other places in the body, most commonly within the pelvis, causing pain and other symptoms. Many women with this condition are not diagnosed properly until middle age. There are several options for treatment, and it may take time to find what works best for each person.

Stress-induced brain activity linked to chest pain from heart disease

Research we're watching

Doctors have long known that mental or psychological stress can lead to angina (chest pain or discomfort caused by inadequate blood to the heart). Now, new research reveals a direct correlation between angina and stress-related activity in the brain's frontal lobe. The study included 148 people with coronary artery disease with an average age of 62. All underwent brain and heart imaging tests done in conjunction with mental stress testing, which involved mental arithmetic and public speaking. Imaging tests were also done under "control" conditions, which featured simple counting and recalling a neutral event. Researchers monitored the participants for angina during the tests; they also assessed angina rates again after two years.

Activity in the inferior frontal lobe area of the brain during mental stress was linked to the severity of self-reported angina, both during the brain imaging and at the two-year follow-up. A better understanding of how the brain reacts to stress may be an important consideration for doctors who treat angina, according to the study's lead author. The study was published online Aug. 10, 2020, by the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

A silent condition may be taking a toll on your health

Prediabetes is a common condition, and often goes undetected. People with this condition have a number of health risks, including a greater chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke. In addition, they are more likely to develop diabetes, which can lead to additional health problems, such as kidney disease and a higher rate of infection. Testing for prediabetes can find the condition early and potentially prevent it from progressing to diabetes.

Stress and the heart: Lessons from the pandemic

Doctors have begun to study the effects of COVID-related stress and anxiety on people. A recent study suggests that stress caused by the pandemic may already be affecting heart health.

Stop counting calories

Put the focus on food quality and healthy lifestyle practices to attain a healthy weight.

Most people have been taught that losing weight is a matter of simple math. Cut calories — specifically 3,500 calories, and you'll lose a pound. But as it turns out, experts are learning that this decades-old strategy is actually pretty misguided.

"This idea of 'a calorie in and a calorie out' when it comes to weight loss is not only antiquated, it's just wrong," says Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity specialist and assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Worries on your mind

People who regularly worried about the future and dwelled on the past saw larger drops in cognition and had more harmful brain proteins than those who didn't.

Chronic worrying or ruminating could be bad for your brain. A study published online June 7, 2020, by Alzheimer's & Dementia linked these negative thinking patterns to brain changes that could be associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Study authors found that older adults who regularly engaged in what the authors called repetitive negative thinking were more likely to experience cognitive decline, including memory problems, than those who didn't. They also had higher levels of the proteins beta-amyloid and tau in their brains. The accumulation of these proteins, which create damaging clumps known as plaques and tangles in the brain, is a hallmark of Alzheimer's that begins in the earliest stages of the disease — even before an individual experiences visible symptoms of dementia.

Don't get upset about indigestion

It's common for indigestion to become more frequent and severe with age, a condition called chronic dyspepsia or recurring indigestion. While most flare-ups can be treated with over-the-counter remedies, people can stop recurring problems by adopting lifestyle measures, such as reducing stress, avoiding excess alcohol, quitting smoking, losing extra weight, and eating smaller meals.

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