Stress Makes Sticky Platelets
Most of us know stress causes your body to react in a “Fright or Flight” manner. Your heart rate increases, cortisol is produced, and – you might be surprise to learn – your blood gets more sticky.
One of the body’s more ingenious reactions to a threatening situation is to make blood clot faster – so if you are injured you are less likely to bleed to death. Sticky platelets are good in an emergency, but risky on a constant basis. Sticky blood is harder to pump, making your blood pressure rise. Clotting more quickly puts you at a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and migraine as well. Constant stress creates a sticky situation for your health.
So what should you do to stay out of a “sticky situation?”
- Monitor your blood pressure. Keep it within normal levels with healthy habits or medication if needed.
- Decompress. Let off some of the pressure and stress by taking 10 deep breaths (count 4 in, 6 out). Practicing deep breathing 3 times per day can allow you to release some of the stress, slow your heart rate, and lower your blood pressure. Over time it should help your blood become more slippery too.
- Talk to your doctor. Sticky platelets are just one factor in addressing heart disease risk. Have a candid conversation with your doctor about your family history, habits, and stress level.
- Get outside. Seeing nature – even in photos – decreases your stress level. Find ways to bring a little peace to your day.
Do something every day to manage your stress – and your sticky platelets!
Eliz Greene works busy people to improve heart health, so they can work well, feel better, and stress less.
She is a heart attack survivor and the author of the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart as well as 3 other books on wellness. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs and is a sought-after heart health, stress management, & wellness speaker.
If you are planning a women’s wellness program, workplace wellness program or programs for healthcare professionals check out EmbraceYourHeart.com to see if Eliz would be a good fit with your organization.