WOW | Heart Health

Anxiety & Heart Health in Women

heart-healthMost women have multiple challenges in their lives. They try to take care of their career as well as both sides of families. They also have to handle gender discrimination and hormonal imbalances. Women in general, by nature, are more emotional and sometimes end up doing more than needed for others. When their expectations are not met, they may feel hurt. It is well known that emotional people are prone to develop a state of anxiety. Anxiety is a state of fear of the unknown. One lives with heightened levels of adrenaline and is hardly able to relax. Most responses are exaggerated and one can’t find a middle path easily.

While short bursts of anxiety may not be harmful for physical health, a lot of health issues can develop if the state remains persistent. Heart beats can become faster and a person may develop palpitations. Blood pressure may fluctuate and a low BP state may change into hypertensive state.

There is a special sudden heart attack like condition called Takosubo Cardiomyopathy which may develop as a result of sudden emotional stress. Women in middle age are particularly prone to this. The ECG mimics a heart attack. Echo has special findings and angiography shows normal coronaries. Patient may directly see a cardiologist and sometimes believe that these symptoms are of heart disease. If the investigations show no evidence of heart disease, special counseling may be of utmost help. All women experiencing long term anxiety symptoms should not hesitate seeing a clinical psychologist. Regular exercises, good positive friends, inspiring books, prayers, laughter, hobbies, practices of pranayama and meditation may help. In some instances medication for short period might be necessary.

Anxiety is often a tax that one pays for having a thoughtful mind! People who do not (cannot) think much are often more relaxed and live an easier life. While a small amount of anxiety may improve one’s performance, higher levels may be counterproductive. With increasing age we should try to avoid getting hyper reactive and learn how to respond peacefully rather than just reacting heavily to trivial things.

dr rawatDr Bharat Rawat is MD, DM, FAPSIC, FACC, FSCAI, Senior Interventional Cardiologist at the Greater Kailash Hospital in Indore, India. Prior to this he served with Norvic International Hospital Nepal as Chief of Cardiology. He may be contacted on 0091-9717783168.