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Anxiety and Stress Blog

Anxiety Medications May Be Tied to Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 7 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 – Older adults who habitually use sedatives for anxiety or insomnia may have a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. The drugs in question are benzodiazepines, a widely prescribed group of sedatives that include lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). Older adults commonly take the drugs for anxiety or insomnia, often long-term, according to background information in the study. That's despite the fact that guidelines call for only short-term use of the drugs, at most. In 2012, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) put benzodiazepines on its list of drugs considered "potentially inappropriate" for seniors, because of risks like confusion, dizziness and falls. The current study isn't the first to link benzodiazepines to Alzheimer's risk, but it adds to evidence that longer-term use of the drugs – beyond ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Xanax, Anxiety and Stress, Klonopin, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Diazepam, Temazepam, Alzheimer's Disease, Restoril, Xanax XR, Librium, Oxazepam, Halcion, Serax, Triazolam, Midazolam

Health Tip: Manage Stress to Keep Diabetes in Check

Posted 25 Aug 2014 by

-- Physical and emotional stress can be problematic for diabetics, as it tends to cause blood sugar to rise. The American Diabetes Association suggests how to keep stress under control: Find ways to reduce stress, such as by taking an alternate route to avoid traffic, mending problems with a friend or changing to a less stressful job. Engage in regular physical activity. Do something fun, such as taking dance lessons, picking up a new hobby or practicing a craft. Volunteer in your community. Practice relaxation exercises. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Diabetes, Type 2

Health Tip: Avoiding Parental Burnout

Posted 5 Aug 2014 by

-- Between work and family responsibilities, parents may feel burned out, stressed and overwhelmed. These feelings may then spill into activities with the children. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests how to deal with parental burnout: Take a few relaxation breaks during the day to rest your eyes, breathe deeply and relieve stress. Find ways to improve your mindset and energy as you head home from work. Find small ways to make things easier, such as by getting takeout for dinner a few nights a week. Have the family pitch in with household chores. Don't assume too many responsibilities during the week. Let some things go until the weekend. Make time on the weekends for yourself, whether it's for a quiet walk, reading a book or a stint at the gym. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Some Jobs Harder on the Heart Than Others, Report Finds

Posted 1 Aug 2014 by

THURSDAY, July 31, 2014 – Stress at work may raise your risk of heart attack and stroke, particularly if you work in the service industry or have a blue-collar job, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. But being unemployed might be just as unhealthy, they added. "Workplace factors that increase risk include job stress, exposure to air pollution – like dust and secondhand smoke – and noise," explained lead researcher Dr. Sara Luckhaupt, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "These workers would benefit from health programs that combine reducing occupational risk factors like job stress with health promotion activities like smoking cessation," she said. Some workers may already have other risk factors for stroke and heart attack, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, which can be made ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Disease

Parent's Death May Raise Risk of Early Death for Grown Children, Study Suggests

Posted 23 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 23, 2014 – Children and teens who lose a parent might face an increased risk of an early death in adulthood, a new study suggests. People who were children or teens when a parent died had a 50 percent greater risk of death during the study period than those who had not experienced the death of a parent, according to the report. Although the study found an association between a parent's death and a child's later risk of premature death, it wasn't designed to prove cause-and-effect. Also, the increased risk of premature death among these people may be due to both genetic factors and the long-term effects of a parent's death on the health and social well-being of a child, researcher Jiong Li and colleagues at Aarhus University in Denmark theorized. The study findings were published in the July 22 issue of the journal PLoS Medicine. The team analyzed data on children born ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Stress May Leave You Heading to the Cookie Jar

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – Stress can slow a woman's metabolism and lead to weight gain, new research suggests. The study included 58 women, average age 53, who were asked about their stress levels the previous day and then given a meal than included 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. The Ohio State University researchers measured how long it took the women to burn off those calories and fat. On average, women who had one or more stressful events during the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories in the seven hours after eating the meal than those who were stress-free. On a daily basis, that difference could add up to a weight gain of nearly 11 pounds a year, the researchers said. The stressed women also had higher levels of the hormone insulin, which contributes to the storage of fat, according to the study, published in the latest issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Stress, Depression May Boost Stroke Risk, Study Finds

Posted 10 Jul 2014 by

THURSDAY, July 10, 2014 – Stress, hostility and depression may increase the risk for stroke, a new study suggests. The study found that depression seemed to raise the risk of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) by 86 percent. It also found that stress apparently raised stroke or TIA risk by 59 percent. And hostility doubled the risk, the researchers said. A TIA is a mini-stroke caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. However, it's important to note that the study only found an association between the risk of stroke and negative emotions. It wasn't designed to prove that negative emotions can cause strokes. Still, "chronic stress and negative emotions are important psychological factors that affect one's health, and findings from this study link these factors to brain health in particular," said the study's lead author, Susan Everson-Rose, an associate ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Ischemic Stroke

Grief in Pregnancy May Trigger Obesity in Adulthood

Posted 29 Jun 2014 by

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 – Unborn children of mothers exposed to severe stress are more likely than others to grow up overweight or obese, even if that stress occurred months before pregnancy, a new Danish study has found. Children whose biological fathers died while they were in the womb were twice as likely to become obese as adults, because of the stress of bereavement on their mother, the study authors said. But children also had an increased risk of adult overweight or obesity if their mothers experienced the death of a close relative up to six months prior to their conception. A mother's response to stress apparently has long-term effects on the child she carries, said study senior author Carsten Obel, an associate professor of public health at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark. "That maternal stress can influence the development of the fetal stress system seems quite plausible," ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Obesity

Do Stressed-Out Men Have Weaker Sperm?

Posted 30 May 2014 by

FRIDAY, May 30, 2014 – A small new study suggests that higher levels of stress may hurt the quality of men's sperm, potentially making it more difficult for them to impregnate women. The findings aren't definitive and don't prove cause-and-effect, since it's possible that stressed-out men share another trait that disrupts their reproductive systems. Also, it's not clear if men with more stress are actually less fertile. Still, "men who reported a higher number of stressful events happening in their life, or those who reported feelings of stress, had a lower percentage of sperm that moved well or were formed correctly, as well as lower numbers of sperm," said study lead author Teresa Janevic, an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology in Piscataway, N.J. "Lower values of each of these measures are associated with lower fertility because of ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Oligospermia

Health Tip: Handle Stress in a Healthy Way

Posted 29 May 2014 by

-- Everyone has stress, but there's a right way and a wrong way to deal with it. The American Heart Association says you may not be handling stress well if you: Eat, smoke or drink alcohol to help yourself cope. Eat and speak very quickly. Move constantly without accomplishing much. Work too much. Repeatedly put off important tasks. Sleep too much or too little. Try to do too many things at the same time. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Health Tip: Controlling Anger

Posted 20 May 2014 by

-- Thoughts can quickly spiral downward when something doesn't go your way. But experts say if you learn how to change your way of thinking, you can keep anger in check. The American Psychological Association offers these suggestions: Don't use words such as "always" or "never" when discussing problems involving yourself or others. Focus on goals and how to achieve them, rather than dwelling on problems themselves. Understand that anger can make you behave irrationally, so step back and make sure you're reacting in a logical way. Don't issue demands. Instead, make requests of things you want. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Working With Horses May Ease Stress in Kids

Posted 29 Apr 2014 by

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 – Working with horses can lower children's levels of stress hormones, which may reduce their risk of physical and mental health problems, a new study suggests. The study involved 130 students in grades 5 to 8 who took part in a 12-week learning program at a riding facility in Washington state. The students spent 90 minutes a week learning about horse behavior, care, grooming, handling, riding and interaction. Saliva samples collected from the children showed that they had significantly lower hormone stress levels after they completed the program, compared to students who did not take part in the program. The study was published in the journal Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin. Learning more about controlling stress hormone levels in kids is important "because we know from other research that healthy stress hormone patterns may protect against the development of ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Japan Quake Shows How Stress Alters the Brain

Posted 29 Apr 2014 by

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 – A small study of people who experienced the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan shows that although traumatic events can shrink parts of the brain, some of those regions can rebound once a person's self-esteem returns. "Higher self-esteem is one of the most important traits of resilience in the context of stressful life events," said study author Atsushi Sekiguchi, who noted that these latest findings also illustrate that brain changes are dynamic and fluid over time. Sekiguchi's prior research had already demonstrated that people with lower self-esteem following a traumatic event are likely to experience a quick, short-term drop in the size of their orbitofrontal cortex and hippocampus. The first brain region is involved in decision-making and emotions, while the second area is involved in memory. But by tracking the same individuals over time, Sekiguchi's ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress

Stress Tied to Worse Allergy Symptoms

Posted 18 Apr 2014 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

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