How does stress affect cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is an essential substance required by the human body to carry out functions such as the production of bile, hormones etc. The liver is the organ responsible for the producing and managing the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) in the body. However, factors such as an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and stress could lead to an imbalance of cholesterol levels leading to unwanted health issues.

Stress & High Cholesterol

Stress is the normal response of the human body to situations which make us uneasy or disturbs our mental peace. When we get stressed a hormone is known as ‘cortisol’ is released in the body in response to stress. In high amounts, this steroid hormone can lead to increased blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels. The most common causes of high-stress levels are as follows:

  • Family
  • Work
  • Education
  • Illness
  • Hypertension & anxiety disorders

Risks of High Stress & Cholesterol

An unhealthy diet of fried, and fatty foods and a lack of exercise can raise cholesterol levels making us prone to a number or health problems including obesity and heart attacks. However, stress too plays an important role in contributing to high cholesterol levels. Here are three ways in which stress can cause high cholesterol levels.

  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Increase in triglyceride levels
  • Increased heart problems
Increased Risk of Diabetes

Cortisol is released when your body is under stress and its job is to deliver glucose to the body to keep it functioning properly. But, if you are under constant stress your blood sugar levels will be high and increase your risk of diabetes, which is a common cause of high cholesterol.

Learn More: Know More About The Causes of Diabetes

Increase in Triglyceride Levels

Negative emotions such an anxiety and stress lead to the release of cortisol. In high levels this chemical could cause spasms in the arteries and cause blood clots to form. This could lead to a rise in triglycerides levels, which can lead to high cholesterol levels.

Increased Heart Problems

Blood clots restrict the proper flow of blood and the oxygen supply to the heart. This could result in the damage or death of heart muscles, resulting in a heart attack which could at times prove to be fatal.

Stress Management to Manage Cholesterol

Since stress is a major factor behind high cholesterol levels, it would be better if one learnt to manage stress and negative emotions better. However, that is easier said than done. Managing stress can be a difficult task especially with the hectic lifestyles we live today. Therefore, here are three easy ways to help you manage your stress better and lower your risk of high cholesterol.

  • Meditate
  • Take a walk
  • Avoid junk food

Meditation is one of the best and most effective ways to lower stress. All you need to do is sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. As you breathe in and out, think of things which will help calm your mind, such as a beautiful scenery or a peaceful blue sky.

Take a walk

If you are feeling stressed, stepping outside for a bit of fresh air and sunshine will surely lighten your mood. Also, exercise is known to help lower bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol production.

Avoid Junk Food

Majority of us turn to junk food when we are feeling stressed. While this food may satisfy our cravings at the moment, it will only make you overeat and leave you feeling guilty about the calories you just consumed. So the next time you find yourself reaching for that bag of chips, eat a fresh fruit or a piece of dark chocolate instead.

Know More: Eat To Lose Weight Naturally

So do try our stress management tips to lower your stress and keep your cholesterol levels in check. Also, if you have any further questions regarding how to manage stress or are looking for a way to manage your cholesterol levels, our Health Total experts are just a call away! So give us a call on our toll-freee number  1-800-843-0206 or walk into any Health Total center for your free appointment right away.

June 15, 2016

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