Health Glossary - For Everyone

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What is stress?

Stress is a term that is often used but little understood.

Stress generally refers to the affects a situation has on a person's body and mind through the release of certain chemcial, to prepare the body for the stressor (stressful situation / event).

Stressful situations or events are different for everyone - what one person feels is stressful (public speaking) may not cause the same stress in another person.

The extent of stress felt, is propertional to the ability to cope with the stressful situation / event (or the perception of being able to cope with it).

If stress builds up over time, it can often produce tensions and adverse health problems that can affect a person's normal life - anxiety disorders, panic, tension, irritability. Many causes of suspected heart arrhythmia or heart attacks are simply a person being over-stressed and having a panic attack.

Stress is seen as contributing to other conditions such as heart disease, and recent studies implicate stress as a factor in the clinical course of coronary heart disease.

Stress-relief activities are always recommended to help people cope with any build-up of tensions. Some good stress relief strategies and activities are:


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Important stress facts

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Why stress is important

Good stress is essential for helping to keep the body alert and the mind focused to prepare for certain activities, such as exams, driving.

When stress becomes problematic by continuing too long unabated, it can cause a variety of heath problems and symptoms, such as:


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Last reviewed: 30 September 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

To learn more, go to the following web sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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