Understanding Stress and its impact on your heart health

With the speed and strangeness of modern life, it can be easy to become stressed. But did you know that excessive stress is often a hidden factor in developing cardiovascular diseases? It’s why it’s so important to be aware if you’re overstressed and to do something about it.

In many cases it is possible to prevent heart disease, however, with many routine healthcare check-ups being postponed due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that the communities Alphega serves are taking advantage of the health checks our pharmacists can offer At Alphega Pharmacy, we’re committed to raising awareness about the causes of heart disease and helping our patients understand and manage one of the contributing causes: stress.

Why is stress bad for the heart?

Stress can lead to lots of behaviours that can threaten your cardiovascular health, such as eating sugary foods, raised blood pressure, increased smoking and lack of exercise.

One of the most common conditions associated with stress is atrialfibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is characterised by a fast and irregular heartbeat, and if you have this condition, you may be aware of moments when your heart feels like it flutters, pounds or beats irregularly.

However, in some cases atrial fibrillation can have no obvious symptoms and you may be completely unaware that you have it. So, if in doubt, it is best to speak to a healthcare professional such as your Alphega Pharmacist or doctor.

 

What signs should I look out for?

Atrial fibrillation symptoms are difficult to spot. If stress is a contributing factor, it is common for people to be completely unaware that they have it and may be diagnosed only during routine checks for other conditions like stroke, or in preparation for planned surgeries. People who are highly stressed with work or home life are also far more unlikely to make time for routine health checks.

Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include:

  • feeling tired or lethargic

  • breathlessness

  • heart palpitations

  • dizziness or fainting

  • angina (chest pains) or discomfort in the chest

Early detection and reducing your stress levels and other lifestyle factors can be key to preventing heart disease developing. Your local Alphega Pharmacist can help to detect a fast or irregular pulse and give you advice on how to live more healthily.

 

Speak to your Alphega Pharmacist to combat stress

Your local Alphega Pharmacist can help you manage your stress. They are experts in lifestyle advice to help you reduce your risks of developing heart disease.   Routine health checks with manual pulse checks are essential for detecting possible atrial fibrillation and preventing major cardiovascular events, and these types of checks are available at your local Alphega Pharmacy. However, especially with many routine healthcare check-ups being postponed due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that the communities Alphega serves are taking advantage of the health checks our pharmacists can offer. Find your nearest Alphega Pharmacy here