Manage that stress for a healthy heart

WOMEN are prone to stress, but they cope up easily than men, so doctors say.

“Prone ang babae sa stress than men. I always compare them (women) to a bamboo tree or ‘yantok’. Emotionally, parati silang nagre react kaagad. Men do not show it. They are just like hard wood. When they break, they break. They (men) are strong sup­posedly.

“Women can have a lot of stress, but like a bam­boo they are very mallea­ble. Hindi mapuputol un­less lagariin mo. Ang wood madaling mag-break ‘yan. Women know how to cope up with stress rather than male,” said Dr. Ferdinand Ayuyao, one of thedoctor moderators at the weekly health forum at Anabel’s Restaurant in Quezon City.

Some activities that cause stress to a person are his being problema­tic, those who are always in deep thought (parating nag-iisip o palaisip) and temperamental (parating maiinit ang ulo).

Any person who dwells on endless task at home and at work could be classified as the type-A personality, according to Cardiologist Efren Vicaldo, of the Philippine Heart As­sociation.

“Sila ‘yung always on the go. May high target of accomplishing certain task at a very short span of time,” he said at the fo­rum.

The type-B personali­ty, on the other hand, are the more relax type of a person.

“Puwedeng i-set aside for a while ang trabaho,” Vicaldo said.

Ayuyao, a pulmonolo­gist, said the type-A per­sonality are more prone to disease adding that stress is an important risk factor of hyperten­sion.

“Ang type A ang at risk na magkaroon ng disease. Pero hindi mo maaalis ang stress. How­ever, kahit may stress ka kung wala ka namang family history (of hyper­tension), kumakain ka ng tama, may healthy life­ style ka, hindi ka rin magkakaroon ng hyper­tension.

“But definitely stress will lead to a lot of problem hindi lang hypertension or heart disease. Puwede ‘yung the way you think, mental capability or psychiatric aspect like depression,” Ayuyao told People’s Tonight.

At the moment, there is no (past or current) sta­tistics to show the rela­tion of stress to heart ail­ment.

“Wala pang statistics (that would link stress-re­lated activities to heart ailment) on that. Usually makikita lang nila (doc­tors) ‘yan when they (pa­tient) go to the clinic. They (doctors) ask them kung ano ang trabaho, how do you (patient) go about stress? I don’t think there is statistics alluding to that. But that is a good study pero wala pa,” Ayuyao noted.

Cardiologists said that stress is a modifiable fac­tor. People only need to slow down with their work
or minimize getting themselves down by problems.

“Kapag na-overtax mo ang sarili mo lumalabas ang adrenalin…it narrows down blood vessel that could cause hypertension and also slows down the flow of blood that could lead to atherosclerosis,” health experts said.

Ayuyao said people who hold managerial or executive positions, pro­fessors, and even journal­ists are prone to stress. “When you have a lot of responsibility you have to think a lot,” he stressed. – Miriam Torrecampo

Published on Feb. 23, 2005, People’s Tonight

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