One quarter of Americans suffered a stressful experience in the past month, according to a recent study, and half of all Americans experienced stress in the last year. That doesn’t surprise Karl Bernat, MD, an internal medicine doctor at Duke Primary Care Heritage Internal Medicine in Wake Forest.
“I would have thought it was higher because of the way the world is today. We see people with stress-related issues every day.”
Work loads, family dynamics, financial problems, medical concerns…the list of factors contributing to stress goes on and on. Knowing how to manage stress is important because it can make you very sick.“Stress can lead to sleep problems, which, in turn, can lead to migraines,” Bernat says. It can cause anxiety and depression. And, when people experience stress, they often don’t take care of themselves, as they should. That, combined with poor lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol use and poor eating habits, can cause chronic problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can increase your risk for heart disease.