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HEALTH STRESS Are You Stressed? Watch Your Cholesterol Level!

Are You Stressed? Watch Your Cholesterol Level!

By: Ng Peng Hock | Aug 20 2006 | 354 words | 1673 hits

Previous studies had revealed that stress is linked to increased heart rate and weakened immune systems. However, a recent research conducted by the University College of London has found that over the long term, stress may actually raise cholesterol blood levels for some people. This means the risk of heart disease may subsequently be increased.

The researchers cited three possible reasons why stress may raise cholesterol level:

1. Stress may encourage the body to produce more energy in the form of fatty acids and glucose. These substances require the liver to produce and secrete more LDL cholesterol so that they can be transported to the other tissues of the body.

2. Stress may interfere with the body's ability to rid itself of excess cholesterol.

3. Stress may trigger a number of inflammatory processes which also increase cholesterol production.

You should learn to control stress before it controls you. This is a common advice we are expected to receive. But how can we control our stress level?

You should develop healthy habits so as to have a balance of work, eating, exercise and relaxation. Try to take everything in moderation - do not obsess over the details. You need to learn to manage your time effectively - prioritize, drop unnecessary tasks and do not procrastinate. Perhaps you can also start with simple, self-help methods such as yoga, mediation or visual imagery to improve your relaxation skills. There is no proven facts that any dietary supplement can help you with stress reduction, although some people have found that these are helpful.

If these do-it-yourself methods do not work for you, then you probably may need professional assistance in the form of counseling or psychotherapy to help you understand the causes and effects of your stress. Using alcohol or cigarettes to cope with stress is strictly avoided as these two approaches have proved to be bad for your heart. For people whose stress levels are bad enough to impact their ability to function effectively, there are also medications available. To prevent landing in such as state, you should seriously consider balance your life with sufficient rest, exercise and healthy eating to reduce your stress level!

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