Anxiety is a disease that begins in the brain, but its manifestations negatively impact other organs of the body, such as the heart. If this condition is not addressed in a multidisciplinary and multifactorial manner, it can lead to serious cardiovascular diseases, which are considered the leading cause of death in the country, explained cardiologist José Manuel Morales España.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a disease considered in the field of psychiatry. It is the most common problem and the most frequent reason for consultation in this field, but it directly affects cardiovascular health.
How does it affect the heart?
When a person experiences anxiety, they constantly face the release of adrenaline, a hyperstimulating state that leads to a condition known as endothelial dysfunction.
What does that mean?
The endothelium is a lining inside the arteries, but when it becomes diseased due to excess adrenaline, it loses its ability to dilate.
What are the symptoms of this condition?
Patients generally come to the cardiology consultation experiencing shortness of breath, insomnia, sudden weight gain, chronic fatigue, and a constant craving for sweets. Additionally, other factors such as smoking or high alcohol consumption can contribute to the symptoms.
Which of these symptoms is the most common?
They usually come due to high blood pressure, which is why it is considered a cardiovascular risk factor because weight gain also leads to obesity and an increase in triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, and uric acid, thereby increasing the risk of heart attack.
How do smoking and alcoholism play a role?
People who suffer from anxiety often turn to the consumption of these substances in an attempt to alleviate the manifestations of this condition. While they may seem to provide relief, they actually allow the problem to worsen and manifest in even worse diseases.
What would you recommend to them?
The most important thing is to recognize these symptoms. If you know that you have one or more of them, seek help from a psychiatrist. This needs to be assessed by a specialist, and then consult a cardiologist because anxiety is a disease that must be addressed in a multifactorial manner. If left uncontrolled, it can be very risky.