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Anxiety and Stress Blog

Stress Tied to Worse Allergy Symptoms

Posted 1 day 7 hours ago by

FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 – Stress may trigger symptom flare-ups in people with seasonal allergies, a new study suggests. Researchers followed 179 people with hay fever for 12 weeks, and found that 39 percent of them had more than one flare-up. Those patients had higher levels of stress than those who didn't have allergy symptoms during the study period. Sixty-four percent of the participants with higher stress levels had more than four flare-ups over two 14-day periods, according to the findings in the April issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. There was no significant link between stress and flare-ups on the same day, but a number of people had flare-ups within days of experiencing increased daily stress, the researchers said. "Stress can cause several negative effects on the body, including causing more symptoms for allergy sufferers," study author Dr. Amber Patterson, ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Allergies

Stress May Diminish a Woman's Fertility, Study Suggests

Posted 24 Mar 2014 by

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 – Stress may increase a woman's risk of infertility, new research suggests. The authors of the study wanted to investigate the relationship between stress and infertility. So they looked at levels of an enzyme linked with stress in the saliva of women who were trying to get pregnant. They also tracked the women's ability to conceive over a 12-month period. "Women with higher levels of the stress biomarker had a two-fold increased risk of infertility," said study author Courtney Lynch. The enzyme they measured is called salivary alpha-amylase. "Alpha-amylase is an enzyme that is secreted into the mouth that helps the body start to digest carbohydrates," said Lynch, director of reproductive epidemiology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. "It is also linked to the fight-or-flight part of the stress system." For the study, Lynch and her colleagues ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Female Infertility

Family Conflicts Can Impair Child's Brain Development: Study

Posted 24 Feb 2014 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2014 – Exposure to common family problems early in life can impair a child's brain development, according to new research. Tension between parents, arguments and lack of affection or communication between family members can affect growth of the cerebellum, a brain area involved in skill learning, stress regulation and sensory-motor control, the researchers found. This might lead to mental health problems for children later in life, the researchers said. "These findings are important because exposure to adversities in childhood and adolescence is the biggest risk factor for later psychiatric disease," study leader Dr Nicholas Walsh, a lecturer in developmental psychology at the University of East Anglia, England, said in a university news release. Previous studies have focused on the effects of severe abuse and neglect, but this study found common and ongoing family ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Health Tip: Manage Stress

Posted 20 Feb 2014 by

-- Stressed out from bad weather or a demanding job? The American Heart Association suggests these healthy habits to help ward off stress: Talk frequently with friends and family. Get enough physical activity each day. Accept that there are things you cannot change, and learn to cope with them. Do your best not to worry, especially about the small things. Slow down and enjoy life, instead of racing through it. Cut out bad habits, from drinking too much to smoking. Make sure you get enough sleep. Get organized, tackling one problem at a time. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

More Stress, More Headaches, Study Says

Posted 19 Feb 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 19 – German researchers have confirmed what many people have suspected all along – that stress can lead to headaches. Their study found that people who reported headaches had more stress compared to those who never reported headaches. Increasing stress resulted in more headaches of all types, but that effect was particularly pronounced in people with tension headaches. "Our findings are important to support the tailoring of stress management in patients with different types of headaches," said lead researcher Dr. Sara Schramm, at the University Hospital of University Duisburg-Essen. "The benefit from interventions for stress might be slightly higher in patients with tension headaches than in migraine patients," she said. The findings are scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from Apr. 26 to May 3 in Philadelphia. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Headache, Anxiety and Stress

Teens' Stress Levels Rival Those of Adults, Survey Finds

Posted 11 Feb 2014 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2014 – If paying the bills and putting food on the table put adults' nerves on edge, just imagine how today's overscheduled, frequently tested teenagers must feel. Adolescents reported stress levels during the school year that surpassed those of adults, according to the American Psychological Association's latest Stress in America survey. The survey, based on an August 2013 Harris Interactive poll, is thought to be the first to focus on how stress is affecting the nation's adolescents. It included more than 1,000 teens and nearly 2,000 adults. The findings suggest that teens' sleeping and exercise habits feed into their stress levels and the stress affects their health habits, creating a vicious circle, said Norman Anderson, CEO and executive vice president of the American Psychological Association. "Those who experience high levels of stress tend to report that they ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Stressed by Work-Life Balance? Just Exercise

Posted 30 Jan 2014 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 – Feeling conflicted by the push-pull of work and family life? New research suggests that regular exercise can help balance out those feelings. Researchers examined the responses of 476 working adults who were surveyed about their exercise behavior and their confidence in handling work-family conflicts. Those who exercised regularly seemed to experience an increased feeling of competence that carried over into work and home roles, the study authors said. "If, for example, you go for a two-mile jog or walk 10 flights of steps at work and feel good about yourself for doing that, it will translate and carry over into other areas of life," said study author Russell Clayton, an assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University in Florida. "We found that [participants] who exercised felt good about themselves, that they felt that they could accomplish tough ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Health Tip: Stop Stress

Posted 13 Jan 2014 by

-- The next time you feel you're under too much stress, the American Heart Association offers these "emergency stress stoppers" to help calm you down: Before you begin to speak, count to 10 and take several deep breaths. Walk away from whatever is stressful, and decide to come back to it later. If there's a big problem, break it down into smaller problems that are easier to address individually. Take a walk. If you're driving, stay in the slow lane, away from heavy traffic. If you've made a mistake, say you're sorry. If you're repeatedly stressed about being late, set your watch five to 10 minutes ahead. Do something to make yourself happy and relaxed, such as hugging a loved one, smelling a flower or giving someone a smile. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Stressful Middle Age Tied to Higher Alzheimer's Risk in Women

Posted 1 Oct 2013 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 – Women who deal with a lot of day-to-day stressors in middle-age may have a somewhat higher risk of developing Alzheimer's later in life, a new study suggests. The findings, published online Sept. 30 in BMJ Open, do not prove that your job or your family are raising your dementia risk. But experts said they add to evidence that chronic stress may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease in some people. No one is sure why, but there are theories, according to Robert Wilson, a professor of neurological sciences and psychology at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago. It's possible that chronic stress, via effects on certain hormones, may reduce the efficiency of people's "brain circuitry," explained Wilson, who was not involved in the new study. And that could leave some people more vulnerable to the impact of Alzheimer's-related brain changes later in ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Alzheimer's Disease

Think You're Stressed? Maybe You Should Have Your Heart Checked

Posted 27 Jun 2013 by

THURSDAY, June 27 – People who think stress is affecting their health may be setting themselves up for a heart attack, a new study contends. The researchers found that these people had double the risk of a heart attack compared with people who didn't think stress was harming their health. "People's perceptions about the impact of stress on their health are likely to be correct," said study author Hermann Nabi, a senior research associate at the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at INSERM in Villejuif, France. "They may need to take actions when they feel that it is the case," he added. These findings have both clinical and theoretical implications, Nabi said. "From a clinical perspective, they suggest that complaints of adverse impact of stress on health should not be ignored in clinical settings as they may indicate increased risk of developing coronary heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Bullied Kids More Likely to Self-Harm as Teens

Posted 31 May 2013 by

FRIDAY, May 31 – Children who are bullied in elementary school are almost five times more likely to engage in self-harm by the time they are teenagers, according to a new study. Based on their findings, the British researchers behind the study concluded that no form of bullying – from name-calling to physical abuse – should be viewed as a harmless rite of passage. Doctors should routinely ask children if they have been the victim of a bully, the researchers said. "The importance of this early intervention should not be understated," study co-author Dieter Wolke, a professor at the University of Warwick, said in a school news release. "If we were able to eliminate bullying, while other exposures remained constant, there would be a potential to prevent 20 percent of all self-harm cases." The researchers examined information on nearly 5,000 children who participated in a study based at ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Psychiatric Disorders

Healthy Lifestyle May Offset Job Stress, Study Finds

Posted 13 May 2013 by

MONDAY, May 13 – Job stress increases the risk of heart disease, but living a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce that risk, a new study says. Researchers examined data from more than 102,000 men and women, aged 17 to 70, in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Sweden and Finland. Their lifestyles were rated in one of three categories – healthy, moderately unhealthy or unhealthy – based on smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise/inactivity and obesity. Those with a healthy lifestyle had no lifestyle risk factors, while people with a moderately unhealthy lifestyle had one risk factor. Two or more risk factors qualified as an unhealthy lifestyle. Nearly 16 percent of the participants reported job stress, according to the study, which was published May 13 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Over 10 years, the rate of coronary artery disease was 18.4 per 1,000 for people ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Pregnant Women Under Stress May Be at Higher Risk for Stillbirth

Posted 29 Mar 2013 by

FRIDAY, March 29 – Stressful life events increase women's risk of stillbirth, a new study finds. Stillbirth is the death of the fetus at 20 or more weeks of pregnancy. There was one stillbirth for every 167 live births in the United States in 2006, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. The study included more than 2,000 women who were asked if they experienced an emotional, financial or other type of stressful life event in the year before they gave birth. Examples of such events included losing a job or having a loved one in the hospital. At least one stressful life event was reported by 83 percent of women who had a stillbirth and 75 percent of those who had a live birth. Nearly one in five women with stillbirths and one in 10 women with live births said they had five or more stressful life events in the previous year. The researchers calculated that two ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Stress During Pregnancy May Raise Heart Defect Risk for Baby

Posted 25 Mar 2013 by

MONDAY, March 25 – Stress in mothers before and during pregnancy may boost the risk of congenital heart defects in their children, more new evidence suggests. But the findings aren't conclusive, and the effect – if it exists – appears to be small. Still, "there are several studies now that show an association," said Dr. Edward McCabe, senior vice president and medical director of the March of Dimes, who is familiar with the results of the large new study. "It suggests there needs to be continued investigation of this." McCabe said he's not aware of any other research linking stress in mothers to a specific kind of birth defect. Congenital heart defects, among the most common kinds of birth defect, include conditions such as holes in the heart and other kinds of problems. Most cases aren't fatal, McCabe said, and physicians can repair some kinds of problems with surgery. In other ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety May Be More Common Than Depression After Pregnancy

Posted 4 Mar 2013 by

MONDAY, March 4 – Anxiety is far more common in the days after childbirth than depression, with nearly one in five new mothers reporting acute mental stress surrounding delivery and the transition to a larger family, a new study suggests. Researchers also found that anxious new mothers were more likely to cut short breast-feeding efforts and seek out additional medical care for themselves within two weeks of delivery. "Postpartum depression has gotten a lot more attention than anxiety ... but it's anxiety that's an acute concern and affects so many aspects of the hospital stay and postpartum course," said study author Dr. Ian Paul, a professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at the Penn State College of Medicine, in Hershey, Penn. "Childbirth tends not to be a depressing situation for a majority of women, but it is anxiety-provoking, especially for first-time moms." The study ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Postpartum Depression

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