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The Number One Reason Why Caregivers Get Sick

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The Number One Reason Why Caregivers Get Sick

By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com editor

Stress and worrying can make you physically sick. Stress is a pressure cooker: Left un-attended it will boil over. Stress and worry are proven to affect your physical health and may even shorten your lifespan.

Severe, chronic stress takes a physical toll and can damage your body in many ways – everything from your heart to your immune system. Because it negatively impacts so many health conditions, caregiver stress could even shorten your lifespan. Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache or your upset stomach. But the culprit could be stress.

How does stress affect the body?

Our bodies have a natural “stress alarm system” that warns us and responds to perceived danger and threats.

According to the National Institutes on Health (NIH), when you encounter perceived threats, your hypothalamus (a region at the base of your brain) sets off an alarm system in your body, Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located near your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, NIH says.

Related:
5 Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep
Sick with worry: How thoughts affect your health
How Can Providing Care for a Loved One Effect My Health?

The Number One Reason Why Caregivers Get Sick originally appeared on AgingCare.com

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AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

33 comments

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8:28AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

makes sense

8:38AM PDT on Aug 26, 2013

Thank you.

10:02PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Maybe a follow up article on how to de-stress

11:24AM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

Thank you.

10:07AM PDT on Jun 12, 2011

Stay strong, caretakers; we support you! :)

8:27AM PDT on Jun 12, 2011

I have to comment on this and say that caregivers in the U.S. are definitely in this place, but not so much in other countries and the problem in the U.S. is ridiculous health insurance.

My husband slowly died over 13 years from chronic progressive MS. Part of what my job was, was to argue with the insurance company to try to get things paid. They ALWAYS denied every claim and I had to appeal to get anything paid. At one point I was so stressed and my dearest aunt was dying and I wanted to be with her. I asked if I could have home care for four days and I was told no "we all have our crosses to bear". I will never forget that....the claim's admin person could just as well have smacked me in the face!

Then we moved to Canada. We were not part of their health care system for a while, but still, it was amazing how much help was available for a reasonable amount. I could have a "day care" person with my husband for 25.00 an hour as opposed to 54.00 in the states!

The U.S. is crumbling and a large reason is the terrible health care system. Wake up, look around and demand change.

4:19AM PDT on Jun 12, 2011

Great information! Thank you so much for sharing this.

Caring for my kids, mom and dad has been really stressing me out.

9:57PM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Tks for sharing stress issues right now ....

8:16PM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Thanks for the info.

6:45PM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Very interesting..Thank you, it's hard for most of us not to stress, easy to say "Don't stress" but hard not to...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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