How stress can mask the symptoms of chronic disease

UC expert featured in New York Times article

Ongoing research has found stress is closely linked with many chronic diseases including asthma, heart disease, arthritis, lupus and inflammatory bowel disease. At the same time, many issues caused by stress, like headaches and blood pressure problems, can also be symptoms of chronic illnesses.

The University of Cincinnati's Charles Hattemer, MD, spoke with the New York Times on how stress can play a part in triggering chronic diseases.

Hattemer, professor, division chief of cardiovascular health and disease and Mabel Stearns Stonehill Endowed Chair in the Department of Internal Medicine in UC's College of Medicine, and a UC Health physician, said stress naturally kickstarts the fight-or-flight response.

When people are stressed for weeks or months, their bodies may be unable to maintain other functions. Hattemer said stress hormones can also chronically elevate blood pressure or increase plaque deposits, which can damage the heart over time.

Read the New York Times article.

Featured photo at top courtesy of Pixabay.

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