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Do you have too much stress? Many would agree: when stress seems unmanageable, it can take a terrible toll on your physical and emotional health, as well as your relationships. But stress is a normal part of life: it can increase your motivation, perception, and productivity. . .in small doses, and when managed properly.

Stress itself is not a medical problem, but it can cause specific medical symptoms, sometimes severe enough to send you to the emergency room. In fact, 43 percent of adults suffer adverse health effects from stress, and more than 75 percent of all physician office visits have stress-related components! Stress can bring on a variety of symptoms such as those that mimic a heart attack, panic attack, stomach problems, muscular tension, or a severe headache. Symptoms of stress can also mimic those of depression and anxiety and can worsen other conditions, such as high blood pressure or migraines. If you already have coronary heart disease, stress might make you feel chest pain, called angina.

The good news is that reducing your stress levels and properly managing them can have a positive impact on your health.

Created: 3/29/2004  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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