2020 was a year like no other and though the year is behind us, many of the effects it has had on our bodies, namely stress, is still very much a concern that should be addressed by everyone, even if you feel that you did (or are) coping well with the skyrocketing stress levels that Covid-19 forced us all to endure.
How Mental Stress Affects Physical Health
Stress is very much a concern for your mental health and we are very glad that understanding and improving it is losing its stigma, especially in light of the strain to our work, family, and daily life activities Covid-19 forced us to go through quickly and without warning. If you are seeking help for your mental health due to increased stress in 2020 and beyond, please continue to do so, but please also be aware that stress can and does affect a number of physical aspects of your health as well, which also deserve your time and attention.
Some stress is a natural part of every person's daily life and your body is generally equipped to deal with it on its own. But when your body is under especially intense or prolonged stress like that which it was forced to endure to get through a worldwide pandemic last year and into this one, there can be serious, long-term consequences to your health. Experiencing chronic stress has put your body at high risk for producing an excessive amount of cortisol, the hormone required to put your body into a state of 'fight or flight' which, depending on the person, may have affected you in a number of ways, including:
·Increased adrenaline production to get your heart pumping faster and potentially raising your blood pressure and/or putting your heart and cardiovascular system under dangerous amounts of strain. This increase level of adrenaline also makes you breathe faster (to get more oxygen to your muscles necessary to flee from perceived danger) which can exhaberate respitory problems such as asthma.
·Reduced blood flow to your executive functioning areas of the brain that are less directly associated with your immediate survival, leading to 'brain fog' that affects day-to-day life.
·Long-term weakening of your immune system due to a stress-induced hormonal imbalance that decreases your body's lyphocyte level in your blood. These hormonal imbalances can also negatively impact libido and decrease fertility in both men and women in a number of ways.
·Involuntary and chronic tension in muscles as a natural mechanism to defend them but can also cause headaches, affect sleep, make it difficult to concentrate, and more.
How to Combat the Physical Effects of Stress
It's safe to assume that most people in the world are currently either dealing with stress or have experienced it. In both cases, it's important to make sure that your well-being is taken care of. For many, this includes self-taught or professionally-guided stress-relief techniques and mental health checks, but it should also include physical health check-ups as well. As the leading heart clinic in Marbella, Spain, at CardioCare private medical clinic we offer a range of diagnostic tools and techniques to determine if your body is under undue physical strain due to chronic stress or any other cause. Completely personalized for your unique situation and health background, these tests at our Marbella cardiovascular centre can include bicycle or treadmill stress tests to measure your heart rate and blood flow during exercise (when potential cardiovascular problems are more likely to reveal themselves), blood pressure monitoring, Echocardiography, Cartoid Doppler, or Peripheral Arterial Echo-Doppler tests, blood analysis, lung x-ray or CT-scans, MRIs, stress management consultations, nutrition counselling, and more. Using only the most state-of-the-art technology available, our cardiovascular experts, nurses, and consultants are internationally-trained and experienced to diagnose, treat, and care for any cardiovascular condition you may be experiencing and always with the utmost respect for you, your health, and your wellbeing.
Don't leave it until it's too late: learn more about our range of preventative health checkups on our website and book an appointment with our world-renowned specialists who will sit down with you to discuss your medical history, including previous and current causes and results of stress, to ensure your body is and remains in the best health possible.