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Women, stress and heart disease


Stress. This word sounded in the twentieth century, brought to life by the tension of the century. Pressure at home, at work, pressure from superiors, spouses, tax collectors. Once this applied only to men. But not now.
Some experts argue that there is even more pressure on women, especially working women. Women tend to take care of everything. Both in the workplace and at home there is no end to their responsibilities. As well as the requirements for them from others. All this pressure creates stress, contributing to the emergence of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one killer.
“Women are torn between responsibilities at work and at home,” said Margaret A. Chesney, Ph.D., associate professor at the Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Even when the husband shares his homework with his wife, women most often take the responsibility to ensure that everything is done.
In both working men and working women, the tonus of cardiovascular activity rises during the working day, says Dr. Chesney, but in the evening the picture of cardiovascular activity in men and women becomes completely different. Men are characterized by a recession, a relaxation that begins when they return home. In women, on the contrary, excitement occurs, which extends to the evening. " In other words, a woman does not slow down by the end of the day; her working day continues at home.
What does stress lead to? “For chest pain,” says Lynnie Lindholm, Ph.D., director of cardiology research at the Department of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville. Women who have a sick heart, or those who are at risk of heart disease, need to understand what leads to excessive workload. Very often, women get the only opportunity to relax only when they get sick. Such is the price of their rest. ”
Women must learn to stop themselves, redistribute work among others, and learn to say no. “The hardest thing is no. I ask those whom I advise: “Will you lose your job or make enemies if you sometimes say no? Find ways to change behavioral habits, Dr. Lindholm advises. When someone turns to you with a request or suggestion, develop the habit of saying: “Can I answer you later?” Then choose a quiet place for your office, chair and think. It is so easy to say “yes” and to be caught in a word before you realize what you have agreed to. If you mentally imagine how busy you are now, you can really appreciate the time it takes to complete a request or proposal. Then it will be easier to call the person who has contacted you and politely refuse. ”
Dorothy Metzger knows by himself how difficult it is to refuse. But with the help of Dr. Lindholm, she made progress. “It seems to everyone that I work with great enthusiasm, and I always feel stress. Sometimes this condition lasts for months until all of me find myself in the grip of chest pain, Dorothy admits. "I always knew about the connection between diet and heart disease, but I did not understand at all what stress could lead to."
Dr. Lindholm helped Dorothy realize how constant tension could turn out and taught her the easiest ways to relieve stress. “Now I monitor my workload and when it increases, I can cope with the problem before it affects my heart,” she says. I no longer have chest pain. ”