Stress: Does Stress Cause High Cholesterol?
Every single adult living in the world has experienced stress at least once if not many times in his or her life. For many, stress has been accepted as part of their normal life. One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to stress is not dealing with it properly. If stress goes on to long or if it is not managed correctly it can cause some major medical problems. High amounts of long term stress has been one of the main contributors to medical conditions like headaches, migraines, muscle pain, back pain, strokes, diabetes, eczema and psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, heart burn, ulcers, impaired immune system, heart disease, hypertension, and mouth ulcers. If that wasn't enough, high amounts of long term stress have also shown to be one the main contributors to high blood cholesterol. (1)
Stress and High Cholesterol
There are two different types of causes of high cholesterol primary causes and secondary causes. Primary causes are things that you cannot control such as family history/genetics, sex, and age. Secondary causes are things that you can control. They include weight, diet, high amounts of alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and stress. (2) Stress is one of the unique causes or contributors to high cholesterol because of the fact that it cannot directly cause cholesterol levels to rise but it can affect your mood, eating habits, and possibly alcohol and tobacco consumption. It has been found that while under stress people tend to eat more high fat and sugary foods. This is because while you are under stress it causes calories to be burned quicker. Eating sugary and fatty foods are ways to provide large amounts of calories to your body very quickly. It has also been found that people also have a tendency to increase the amount that they drink and smoke. That is because people believe that alcohol tends to make you forget about your problems temporarily while smoking gives you the false impression that it is making you relax. (2)
Handling Stress and Lowering Cholesterol
As we know there are some contributors to high cholesterol that we cannot control and some that we can. By eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, maintaining your weight, staying away for alcohol and tobacco, and by learning to manage stress correctly you can greatly reduce additional risk for high cholesterol. Most of the secondary causes are relatively easy to control. However, one secondary cause that some people may not know how to control correctly is stress. For the most part the stress that affects our lives is out of our control. The only control we have over it is how we deal with it. Yoga, mediation, and self hypnosis are a few excellent ways to handle stress. If you are still experiencing elevated cholesterol levels during or after you have gotten all your secondary causes under control you may want to try a natural supplement.