How stress affects the body

Stress is something that overtakes the lives of everyone whether it be the stress of school, work or even personal relationships it is prominent in the life of every living being. Stress has many health risks such as asthma, gastrointestinal problems, accelerated aging, depression, anxiety, obesity and also Alzheimer disease. The most recent issue linked to stress is heart disease, stress can play just as large of a role as high blood pressure and smoking. Harvard Medical School held a study, 300 subjects were tested for the rate of their amygdala, this is the part of the brain that prepares you for fight or flight. The amygdala  are almond shaped cells that lie within the temporal lobe of the brain . Those with a more active amygdala were at a higher risk of developing heart disease and at a high risk of developing it sooner.

Although it is not completely understood why stress plays such a prominent role in developing heart disease scientists have developed a theory. When the amygdala becomes hyperactive it signals to the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells, these white blood cells act on the arteries causing them to become inflamed. Inflamed blood cells can cause heart attacks, strokes and angina. BBC news source doctor Tawakol “Eventually, chronic stress could be treated as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is routinely screened for and effectively managed like other major cardiovascular disease risk factors.”

Doctors and scientists say that this condition can be managed and will lessen the risk of heart disease. Activities such as writing your feelings out, talking to someone such as a close friend or counselor, or setting time aside to partake in an activity that you enjoy such as gardening, sports, or crafts can help relieve the stress of everyday life. Nathan jones a Junior at MCHS said “ When I am feeling over stressed with school I take to the gym and workout for a few hours until I am able to clear my head and make a set plan for my everyday responsibilities.”  

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