2014-04-04 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

Stress And Heart Woes
By Dr. Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH


DR. NANCY GAHLES DR. NANCY GAHLES “Woe is me!” is a phrase I heard often in childhood. Where, I cannot recall. The impact of it, I do recall. Alarm.

Woe is defined as a grievous distress, affliction, trouble. “Woe is me” means sadness for the situation you are in. Chronic woes can cause heart disease. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows six years after Hurricane Katrina, a New Orleans hospital is still seeing more than the usual number of heart attack patients. The researchers suggest that chronic stress is a factor.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins called “Broken Heart” Syndrome real. They discovered that sudden emotional stress can result in severe but reversible heart muscle weakness that mimics a classic heart attack. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, fluid in the lungs and heart failure. Middle aged and elderly women were affected the most. Hopkins researchers found that people may respond to sudden, overwhelming emotional stress by releasing large amounts of stress hormones into the blood stream. These chemicals can be toxic to the heart, effectively stunning the muscle producing symptoms similar to typical heart attack.

Late-life PTSD is linked to cerebrovascular disease and heart attacks in a study of veterans who suffer from woe.

Chronic worrying causes inflammation and sets the stage for panoply of chronic disease and mental health issues. The worrying that persists after natural disasters such as hurricanes is only now coming to fore as an issue. Hospitals are being charged with recognizing the signs of PTSD immediately in the ER. There is a scramble to provide for interventions on the scene and to refer upon discharge. The retinue of options is few.

Mainstream choices include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and drugs. “JAMA Psychiatry,” Jan. 2014 showed results from a study of pediatric anxiety disorders that fewer than 50 percent of children and youth who initially respond to acute treatment achieve long term symptom relief and relapse occurs in 48 percent of these.

Homeopathic medicine is the disruptive innovator in PTSD and anxiety disorders per evidence-based research and clinical outcomes. I have treated and published cases on PTSD since the aftermath of 9/11. Ailments from grief, shock and fright figure prominently in persistence of symptoms that range from insomnia, joint and back pain, irritability, mood disorders and the ubiquitous “stress” that masquerades as anxiety, depression, stomach and head pain and yes, heart attacks. Women, beware to take the fatigue and shortness of breath casually!

Anxiety related symptoms with grief and loss as a cause, even in the distant past, can be healed with homeopathy. Heal your heart and turn that phrase into, “Woe WAS me”!

May The Blessings Be!

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