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Feb 9, 2017

Healthy Living: Stress and Your Health

It’s common knowledge that too much stress is bad for your health. Just last month scientists were able to identify the biological link between specifically the heart and stress. They revealed that heightened activity in the amygdala, a region of the brain involved in stress, is associated with a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. If that isn’t enough of a reason to seek some stress reduction practices, then tonight’s Healthy Living will provide a few more reasons why you should be aiming to keep your stress levels low.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting
It is virtually impossible to live a life free of stress. Stress is very much a natural reaction both in your body and mind. Different experiences – good and bad – can trigger a stress response. As Intensive Care Specialist, Dr Jorge Hidalgo, points out that there’s nothing wrong with experiencing some stress.

Jorge Hidalgo

Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, Internist/Intensive Care Specialist
“Stress is very difficult to define and one of the important things is that stress is good for us because it helps to keep us going but at some point can be bad.  Usually a normal response to stress, the central nervous system send some signal and then we have an increase in the heart rate, our breathing is accelerated also the nervous system sends some signals and you have some extra sugar and extra fat that gives us energy.”


The pounding heart and tense muscles and other responses can be good in the short term if you needed the added pressure in a sports game or getting a project done at work or even responding to a dangerous situation. This is called the flight or fight response in the body. Too often though, people don’t realize when their prolonged stress starts becoming detrimental to their health.


Dr. Jorge Hidalgo

“We start to notice we notice raises in blood pressure, if you have a family history of diabetes then you end up with diabetes after a stressful event. The Central Nervous System sends signal and we have a lot of energy in the form of glucose or sugar and the body is unable to handle that and we end up with diabetes. We start to notice some, or people around us, notice we become very irritable, we don’t sleep well, the way we interact with other people, the interaction is not there. We withdraw from social events and also we start to eat very disorganized. Craving for food. Most of the time we gain weight or we lose excess weight. It would be the extremes. When we start to realize that we need to know that the stress is not becoming too helpful to us. And also if we have a predisposition to heart condition the stress can cause a heart attack. Normally as we are getting old, the immune system weakens and we have a stressful situation that put us in a position that will make us get in an infection problem too easy and also difficult to deal with. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative situation, let’s say someone is planning a wedding party that in a way is overwhelming and that stress can predispose someone to get and infection because the immune system is weak.”


If you feel that you have been experiencing chronic stress then you need to do your best to regain your control because ultimately your health depends on it.


Dr. Jorge Hidalgo

“It’s difficult especially if it’s what is the stress-or. It may be work, but it is very difficult to separate work from your life because you have to make a living.  All the countries at this point and Belize is no different that they are having economical problems that is causing a lot of stress to people. We can do some physical activity to relieve the hormones also now that some meditation and yoga is more accessible it is also another area that we recommend to manage the stress.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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