What do you really know about stress and its effect on your health? April is Stress Awareness Month. Many seniors are impacted by stress when they’re aging at home. Take time to learn how stress can impact both physical and mental health.
Stomach Acid Increases When You’re Stressed
Stress can increase the levels of stomach acid. Increased stomach acid may create heartburn, ulcers, acid reflux, and diarrhea. Over time, acid reflux, ulcers, and heartburn can lead to other health conditions.
Migraines and Headaches Are Common
When someone is very stressed, headaches and migraines are common. While they may not be dangerous, tension headaches can make it hard to function. It may be too hard to get out of bed or drive the car.
The Immune System Weakens
When stress is an ongoing thing, the immune system will weaken. Even if it’s temporary, that brief time when the immune system isn’t working effectively can increase your mom’s chances of contracting a virus like the flu. It can also make it harder for the body to heal if she cuts herself or gets a bacterial infection.
The Appetite Changes, Too
People tend to eat a lot more when they’re stressed. This binge eating tends to have people reaching for less healthy choices like brownies, cookies, or potato chips. While you’re binge eating, the cortisol released by your body when you’re stressed also messes with blood sugar levels. As you eat more sugary snacks to sate that need, you’re also likely to gain weight.
Anxiety Puts Increased Strain on the Lungs and Heart
When someone is stressed, your breathing rate increases. It’s why people tend to hyperventilate during a panic attack. This changes oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. This also puts a bit of a strain on the respiratory system.
When your mom is stressed, her heart also works harder. It beats faster, which can increase blood pressure. Not only is the blood putting more pressure on her blood vessels and arteries, but anxiety and stress may lead to an irregular heartbeat.
It’s hard to avoid stress, but there are ways you can limit the stress your aging mom experiences. Senior care services are one way. With a companion around each week, your mom is less likely to feel stress when trying to do chores on her own. She also avoids feelings of isolation and loneliness that can exacerbate stress. Call our senior care agency to talk about the other ways caregivers can help your mom avoid excessive stress.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Senior Care Services in Warren NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.