Home Health Anxiety and your heart

Anxiety and your heart

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Your mental health does not only have implications for your psychological, behavioral, and emotional health, but it also effects your physical health as well.

One such mental health problem that has dire impact on the physical wellbeing is anxiety. Remarked by perpetual worry, anxiety is state that gravely effects the quality of life. Being constantly on the edge and waiting for the other shoe to drop can be debilitating.

Of many repercussions of anxiety is heart disease. While the connection might not be obvious to all, however, it is a profound one indeed.

Heart disease occurs when the health of the heart and the blood vessels is in peril, which then requires treatment from your Cardiologist in Lahore.

The connection between the two

The connection between anxiety and heart disease is one of co-dependence; the presence of one, may then lead to the presence of the other.

Those suffering from different types of anxiety disorders, including GAD (general anxiety disorder), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are 26% more likely to develop heart disease.

Moreover, those suffering from long-term anxiety are more likely to develop cardiovascular problems, including reduced blood flow to the heart, tachycardia, and high blood pressure.

The ways in which anxiety jeopardizes heart health includes:

Endothelial dysfunction

Vascular endothelium is a part of cells that occupies the area on the outer surface of the blood vessels. These play an important role in the functioning and health of the vascular systems.

Anxiety, on the other hand, leads to changes in the vascular endothelium, that then promotes the inflammation, blood clot formation and buildup of fat deposits in the arteries.

Increased inflammation

Anxiety and its associated disorders increase inflammation in the body, as indicated by the high levels of inflammation markers in people suffering from anxiety.

Inflammation is not good for heart health. Chronically high levels of inflammation lead to irritation in the blood vessels. Moreover, inflammation also increases the growth of plaques in the blood vessels.

Furthermore, inflammation also causes the loosening of the plaques, and promotes the formation of blot clots. This not only impairs blood flow, but also promote the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Platelet dysfunction

In the normal routine, platelets help in blood clotting when required by the body, like in the aftermath of a cut. However, in people with anxiety, platelet aggregation is heightened, that results in abnormal blood clot formation, leading to heart attacks then.

Further complications because of anxiety

The impact on anxiety does not end there, it continues further as well. Those suffering from anxiety alongside heart disease tend to experience severe symptoms of heart disease, that also then has implications for their prognosis as well; they are more likely to suffer from disability or death, as opposed to those people who do not have anxiety with heart disease.

Moreover, according to preliminary research, people suffering from anxiety and heart disease are less prone to take up healthy habits that can improve their condition, which further complicates their situation.

Similarly, people who have anxiety are more likely to indulge in risk-taking behaviors, as they do not make efforts to avert their risk factors. They continue indulging in behaviors like smoking.

Anxious people are also more prone to partake, inadvertently or otherwise, in activities that aggravate their symptoms of heart disease. These include consuming diet high in bad cholesterol, not exercising, being sedentary etc.

Getting help

Getting caught in the vicious cycle of heart disease and anxiety can be hard to get rid of. People not only have to treat their anxiety, but also the heart disease.

There are several ways to address your anxiety; you can take anti-anxiety medication. Psychotherapy is also effective in this regard. You can also try to deal with your stressors.

Similarly, dealing with heart disease involves not only visiting your Cardiologist in Karachi, but also making requisite lifestyle changes.

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