Health Tip: Stress Kills

Are you frequently exposed to stress due to work or school, conflicts with family or friends, or even while sitting impatiently in a traffic jam? This is not a good thing. Excessive stress promotes poor health and disease. In stressful situations, your body responds by releasing a hormone called cortisol.

Long-term exposure to cortisol has devastating consequences that include:

•Increases in the amount of sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides (fat) in your bloodstream, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and, over time, heart attack and stroke.

•Retention of salt and water, which leads to high blood pressure and unnecessary weight gain.

•Breaking down of muscle tissue protein and decreases in the uptake of essential amino acids by muscle tissue, which leads to dramatic losses in strength and tone.

•Increases in visceral (belly) fat accumulation, which shows up on your waistline.

If you are regularly exposed to stress you may be at risk. As such, it is important to find productive ways of coping with your stress. Exercise, yoga, tai chi, relaxation, and professional therapy have all been cited as effective methods for managing stress.

I personally use exercise as a means of coping with stress; however, we're all different. Something as simple as a weekly manicure, pedicure, or massage treatment may work for some. The important thing is to explore various strategies to find out which ones work best for you. 

For more of the latest and greatest in health, fitness, and nutrition, "Like" me on Facebook at Nina Cherie, PhD of Complete Health Solutions and follow me on Twitter at @NinaCheriePhD.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.

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