Can stress cause a heart attack? Ways to manage stress to safeguard your heart

Stress has emerged as one of the leading risk factors for heart attack in recent times. According to Harvard University researchers, stress is as dangerous to the heart as smoking or high blood pressure. This has brought about an important lifestyle factor that could affect our hearts on fire. Dr Gaurav Gandhi, a well known cardiologist from Gujarat, died of a heart attack on Tuesday at the age of 41. The cardiologist’s colleague told Indian Express that Dr. Gandhi worked 14-hour days, did not smoke or drink alcohol and had no doctor visits. history to make him more at risk of heart attack. (Also read: Cardiologists on why doctors may be at increased risk of heart attack; suggest heart care tips)

Impact of acute and chronic stress on heart health

Stress can’t directly cause a heart attack, but it can precipitate it. (Free)

“Stress can cause a heart attack. It can’t cause a heart attack directly, but it can precipitate it. Acute stress is a more frequent cause of a heart attack than chronic stress. Acute stress can lead to increased adrenaline levels and of other hormones which increases heart beat frequency and BP. It also makes the plaque more vulnerable to rupture and also increases the clottable state. All combined, it can lead to a heart attack,” Dr Shalimar Bagh told HT. Digital.

Coping with stress in unhealthy ways such as skipping meals, overeating, not making time to relax or exercise can impact heart health and cause heart attacks.

“Chronic stress has a multifactorial effect on our body. Chronic stress can lead to an increase in emotional stress and blood pressure. To cope with chronic stress, a person resorts to unhealthy habits such as smoking, overeating, avoiding exercise and not taking proper and healthy foods, lack of relaxation, all these can lead to maladjustments in the body, thus increasing the chances of heart attack.They also increase the chances of getting diabetes mellitus and hypertension.All combined leads to a increased plaque formation and if there is plaque formation and acute stress at some point, it can lead to a heart attack,” says Dr. Tripathi.

“Chronic stress can also cause a heart attack, but more than that, emotional stress is the most dangerous for heart attacks. Stress is the most important trigger of heart attacks in the younger population, aside from smoking. A person who has problems with high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, obesity may already have heart blocks of 30-40%. When this person goes through emotional stress, the heart block breaks down and forms a blood clot which can reach a heart block. 100%.So, a normal person going through emotional stress who also has pre-existing blockages can have a heart attack even without warning symptoms.Physical stress like the one you face at the gym can also cause heart attacks for the same reason “, says Dr. V. Vinoth Kumar, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, CARE Hospitals, Hi-Tec City, Hyderabad.

Sometimes, you can’t tell if you’re stressed

Dr. Sanjeev Chaudhary, director of cardiology at Marengo Asia Hospitals, Gurugram, says stress is a very big factor in causing heart disease, but it’s not quantifiable.

“Sometimes there are patients who can feel a lot of stress even though there is a significant disturbance in their life, but sometimes there are other patients who don’t feel stress, so it’s an unquantifiable thing and that makes it very difficult to gauge that what is the effect of stress on heart attack. But stress plays a very important role, both acute stress and chronic stress can increase heart rate, blood pressure and can contribute to heart disease, “he says.

So how can we beat stress

You have to prioritize what really matters and that is health. Not making enough time for daily duties can eventually take a toll on the heart and even be fatal.

“Take some time to relax. Meditation and yoga definitely help. Exercise also helps keep the body fit and healthy. Do not use alcohol and smoke to combat stress. Regularly spend time with your loved ones in the family. It is important to take care of your mental and physical health so that you can prevent or reduce heart attacks in general,” advises Dr. Tripathi.

“Yoga, meditation, attitude. There are some questionnaires that, if you answer correctly, can tell you how much stress you have and based on this you can change your lifestyle. But one thing I want to convey is that never be shy in seeking help professional,” says Dr. Chaudhary.

One can beat stress by performing Yoga and Meditation and slowing down the pace of one’s life. Most of the time we all give a lot of importance to our work, but you also need to consider other aspects of your life and take time for yourself by taking breaks in between to maintain balance. When you have psychological stress, which is affecting your routine life, you can seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist, in cases where the patient is unable to get out of the stress on their own, says Dr. Kumar.

Get rid of the stigma attached to stress

“As our body gets sick, our mind gets sick too. But there is a lot of stigma attached to stress induced disorders in India and people tend to sweep it under the rug. They don’t disclose it and are not ready to visit a psychiatrist or a psychologist in fear of being labeled as mentally ill. But there is nothing to be ashamed of. It is better to seek professional health and try to seek it at an early stage so that you can benefit from it,” concludes Dr Chaudhar.

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