Wellness mantra: Toxic thoughts kill your heart too!

Wellness mantra: Toxic thoughts kill your heart too!

Wellness Mantra: Toxic Thoughts Kill Your Heart Too. Bottling up emotions may harm both mind and body, but the opposite extreme may be no better.

Bottling up emotions may harm both mind and body, but the opposite extreme may be no better.

The toxic effects of negative emotions on cardiovascular health are increasingly gaining attention. Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure, resentment and hostility that often arises in response to a perceived wrong doing. Anger initiates the stress response within the body causing blood sugar levels to rise, heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Quick-tempered people who fling objects or scream at others may be at a greater risk for heart disease.

It is normal to experience some anxiety occasionally where a person feels under pressure and these feelings usually pass once the stressful situation has passed. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Chronic stress can negatively affect your health and can cause issues relating to your heart. If you have a stressful situation the body reacts to it by releasing a hormone, adrenaline, which causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. These physical reactions prepare you to deal with the situation by confronting it or by running away from it — the ‘fight or flight’ response. Chronic stress that causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure may damage the artery walls.

People who experience extreme emotions such as anger and anxiety should get themselves checked for heart related diseases as they are at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Stress hormones that are designed to deal with short-term danger stay turned on for a long time. As a result, long-term stress can cause high blood sugar levels.

The lethal link

Heart disease and diabetes is a lethal combination. Prolonged elevated blood sugar increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. People who aren't diabetic have compensatory mechanisms to keep blood sugar level from going out of control. But these mechanisms are either lacking or blunted in people with diabetes so they can't keep a lid on blood sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes damages the body’s blood vessels making them more prone to damage from atherosclerosis and hypertension.

Diabetics have a different heart anatomy and other existing health conditions; their arteries are smaller and often tortuous, with longer lesions and diffuse disease which results in a higher rate of treatment failures. It is a known fact that diabetics take longer time to heal in case of any disease or ailment.

Specialised, new generation drug-eluting stents such as resolute integrity are now available which can navigate through tortuous and narrowed arterial segment effectively. It is the first and the only US FDA approved drug eluting stent for patients with diabetes.

Diagnosing the heart disease at right time can go a long way to prevent complications at later stage. Watch out for signs and symptoms and pay utmost attention – these are the precursors to underlying heart trouble.

- Dr Ashwin Tumkur, Chief Consultant and Interventional Cardiologist, Meditrina Cardiac Centre, Supraja Hospital, Hyderabad

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