Stress and Coping with Heart Failure

Stress as a risk factor for heart failure.

Stress can lead to heart and blood vessel problems. The body doesn't differ between physical and psychological threats. When you’re stressed over what life brings you, money woes or a tight work schedule, your body reacts just as strongly as if it were under physical stress. It begins to secrete stress hormones like adrenalin. This hormone can trigger a stress response also know as a “flight or fight” response. If you have a lot of chores and worries, your stress response may be “on” most of the time. Long-term stress can lead to severe health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly all systems in your body. It can raise blood pressure, decrease the immune system, and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more helpless to worry and sadness.