Linking Your Cholesterol To Stress

An inability to handle stress can be devastating to your health in so many ways, as it can accelerate your risk of Alzheimer's disease and elevate your blood pressure. You can add high cholesterol to that growing list.

It's commonly known cholesterol rises for a short time in response to stress. Unfortunately, baby boomers whose cholesterol rose in reaction to stress, according to a UK study, were more prone to higher cholesterol years later.

Scientists monitored stress-related elevations in cholesterol among some 200 middle-age patients over three years. Patients completed two moderately stressful tasks, sandwiched in between blood tests before and after them. After follow-up blood tests were done later on, those whose cholesterol levels spiked due to stress before were more likely to have higher cholesterol.

In fact, patients who had the most elevated response to stress were a surprising 13 times more prone to high cholesterol than those in the lowest group. And, the high stress group was four times more likely to have elevated levels of LDL cholesterol. Just more evidence, stress can do great harm to your immune system.

The trick about stress, folks, is learning how to handle it, because you can never eliminate it, nor would you want to. One of the more effective methods I know of for managing stress -- the Emotional Freedom Technique -- isn't a useless drug or medical procedure. It's a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles, that I use daily in my practice.

MSNBC November 29, 2005

Health Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 6, November 2005

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