What is Stress?
Stress is defined as the human body’s response to a perceived psychological or physiological event that upsets the body’s personal balance in some way. When faced with a threat, whether to physical safety or emotional equilibrium, the body’s defences react in a rapid, automatic process known as the”fight-or-flight” response. This stress response is familiar to many, and produces symptoms such as the heart pounding in the chest, muscles tensing up, breath coming faster, and heightened sensory awareness.
Symptoms of Stress
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. It can accentuate positive experiences or, in excessive amounts, can produce physical symptoms and contribute to the worsening of some diseases. Stress affects the mind, body, and behaviour in many ways – all directly linked to the physiological changes of the fight-or-flight response. The specific signs and symptoms of stress vary widely from person to person. Some people primarily experience physical symptoms, such as low back pain, stomach problems, and skin outbreaks. In others, the stress pattern centres around emotional symptoms, such as hypersensitivity or tearful responses to situations which the average person could easily cope with. These are some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress :-
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Need for frequent urination
- Palpitations (uncomfortable awareness of the heart rate)
- Difficulty becoming sexually aroused or achieving orgasm
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Involuntary trembling of the body
- Central Nervous System disorders
- Diarrhoea and/or constipation
- Poor concentration
Is there a proven link between stress and heart disease?
There is recent evidence to affirm that a link does exist between stress and heart disease, as Researchers and Scientists from University College London (UCL) have studied the biological rather than psychological effects of stress in 183 males aged between 45 to 63. These professionals focused on how much their subjects had control in their work and also examined how they viewed their personal finances and wealth. The men were quizzed about their diet, and alcohol and tobacco consumption. The study looked at changes to the nervous system and the production of stress hormones. The results showed a link with “metabolic syndrome”, which is thought to be a precursor to coronary heart disease. Dr Eric Brunner, who led the research, said: “This study provides biological and therefore more objective evidence than ever before of the link between stress and metabolic syndrome. Although this is not concrete proof that stress causes metabolic syndrome or indeed heart disease, we are certainly closer to proving it.” People with metabolic syndrome display a combination of at least three symptoms from obesity, high blood sugar, raised levels of triglycerides (a typeof fatty acid found in the blood) and low levels of HDL, a so-called “good cholesterol”. Raised levels of triglyceride can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. High cholesterol levels are risk factors for coronary heart disease and strokes.
Kill your stress levels rather than your heart!
The UCL research mentioned previously, indicated that there were encouraging signs that the biological effects of stress were thought to be reversible if the subjects reduced their risk factors, such as losing weight or lowering their blood pressure. Professor Sir Charles George, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which helped fund the study, is quoted as saying “The link between stress and heart disease is still unclear but this study is significant as it helps us to understand more about the relationship between the conditions. Although more research is needed, this is an important step forward.”
When is drug therapy appropriate for stress management?
In general, prescription drug therapy is not indicated for the management of daily life stress. A proper diet, exercise and an emotional support system can help in the management of daily life stress for most people. However, in some catastrophic life situations, significant anxiety accompanied by severe symptoms of apprehension, worry, fear and nervousness that inhibit life activities may be helped by short-term drug treatment.
The brain uses certain chemicals known as neurotransmitters to communicate internally between different cells. Anti-anxiety drugs are known to interact on neurons in the brain to help in the reduction of anxiety symptons, by attaching to, and influencing the component parts of the specific neurons that are involved in producing the symptoms of anxiety. Xanax is a type of drug known as a Benzodiazepine, and it works as a sedative when prescribed in low doses, and has been proven to reduce anxiety, soothe excitability, and generally calm patients who use it. For many more serious cases of stress, Xanax may be the most appropriate choice for short-term treatment, and has been shown to be effective in 65-75% of the individuals who take it. come acquistare Xanax senza prescrizione medica