CAUSES OF HEALTH PROBLEMS
MAY BE CAUSED BY STRESS
stress is very often a major component of contemporary life, the
word itself has become part of our everyday vocabulary. No one is
immune to stress. But when stress becomes a persistent negative
factor in your life, it can cause a collapse of your body’s
defenses, which, in turn, cause a breakdown in your resistance to
illness, disease, chronic conditions, or mental disorders.
Stressful situations produce reactions that can manifest themselves
differently from one individual to another, and even from one gender
to another. For example, it has been proven that the mere activity
of talking to someone causes a stress response: In men, the blood
pressure becomes elevated, and in women the blood pressure does
not change as much as the heart rate
course, the severity of a stress reaction varies in accordance with
the Stimulus. A stimulus may be as minor as talking to someone in
a position of superiority, or it may be a major trauma, such as
the death of a spouse. A “stress scale” has been developed
by Thomas H. Holmes, a doctor at the University of Washington School
of Medicine in Seattle. This scale establishes the relationship
between significant events in a person’s life and physical
or emotional disorders.
give you an example of how these events rank, the death of a spouse
has a mean value of 100, a divorce 73, a marital separation 65,
retirement 45, pregnancy 40, sexual difficulties 39, changing to
a new school 20, and a vacation 13. Of those people who have a score
exceeding 300 for the past year, almost 80 percent become ill in
the near future; with a score of 150 to 299, about 50 percent become
ill in the near future; and with a score of less than 150, only
about 30 percent become ill. So the more life changes you experience,
the harder you need to work to stay well.
environment and your body are major culprits in the stress syndrome.
External conditions in the environment that you may not recognize
as stress stimuli can wreak their own havoc. These may include frequent
exposure to crowds, exposure to danger, unsatisfactory domestic
living conditions, undesirable weather, or noise.
stresses which result from the body, from physiological sources,
are of two kinds: avoidable and unavoidable. In the avoidable category
are those that are the result of such conditions as poor diet or
insomnia. Those in the unavoidable category include such conditions
as aging or adolescence.
of the type of stress your body is undergoing, the physical ailments
that may result are many and varied: headaches, peptic ulcers, arthritis,
colitis, diarrhea, asthma, cardiac arhythmia, sexual problems, circulatory
problems, muscle tension, and even cancer.
MAY BE INHERITED
familiar illnesses, such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, and heart
disease, may be inherited. That is, you may be predisposed to these
conditions. There are three courses this type of health problem
can take: (1) It may manifest itself at a relatively early age,
or even at birth. (2) It may become evident during a period of extreme
stress due to a dramatic change in your life pattern or during a
time of difficult and prolonged personal demands. (3) It may remain
as a dormant condition throughout your entire life.
your inherited health problem takes the third course, you have no
need to worry. However, if you became the victim of an inherited
illness or disease at birth or during your childhood, you can take
action to combat or perhaps even alleviate the symptoms of your
health problem. Similarly, if the problem surfaced at a time of
extreme stress, you can first treat the stress and then focus on
the specific symptom or condition.
MAY BE THE RESULT OF AN INJURY OR AN ACCIDENT
suffering from the shock produced by an injury or accident, your
body reacts in a variety of ways. Three of the major reactions are
(1) lower blood pressure, (2) a diminished pulse rate, and (3) a
temperature below normal. In extreme cases, the shock can result
in death. In all cases, the shock of accident or injury produces
a breakdown of the body’s defense. Specifically, shock is
a depression of cessation of the influences of the nervous system
over various important bodily functions, principally the circulation
and respiration. The results vary in intensity, depending on the
patient and the injury. Therefore, the effect may be temporary or
it may linger, resulting in a chronic condition. In this state,
your immune system is weakened, and you are more prone to illness
or general health problems. For example, some people become allergic
to things that previously had not produced any allergic reaction
course, you can also experience illness, disease, or chronic disorders
as a direct result of an injury or accident. These problems may
include back spasms, arthritic conditions in the injured joints,
tendonitis, numbness, tingling, cardiac arhythmia, colitis, or respiratory
MAY BE HIV/AIDS RELATED
(Human Immuno Deficiency Virus) is the virus that can cause AIDS
(Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV destroys certain cells
in the body, weakening the immune system and causing a person to
be defenseless again opportunistic infections such as:
• Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS): A type of skin cancer
• Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP): A form of pneumonia.
• Shingles: An acute infection that causes painful blisters
on the skin.
• Tuberculosis: A communicable disease that primarily affects
the lungs, but can affect any part of the body.
show emotions have a tremendous impact on the immune system. Fear,
anger, depression, and stress take their toll both emotionally and
physically. These feelings are to be expected since the HIV/AIDS
infected person faces many complex issues.
MAY RESULT FROM CANCER TREATMENTS
of the disease range from deep emotional distress to pain caused
by medical treatments and surgery. Some people experience pain associated
with specific organs, fatigue, irritability, low blood count, infection,
insomnia, and side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, such as
nausea and vomiting.