Stress blog

Take steps to protect your health

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. August 1, 2012

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Medical ailments are magnified by stress, by lack of access to health care, and by economic pressures and insurance realities. And all the technology and all the medications can't solve every problem. So what can you do?

A best-selling book several years ago started with the statement that went something like this, "Life is hard. Once we accept this fact, it is easier to move forward." Likewise, there are some difficult and challenging medical problems for which there are no good solutions. Some people suffer with chronic pain, and despite multiple injections, patches and medications, the pain continues. This reflects the bewildering complexity of the human condition.

But you aren't powerless. Ask yourself what you can do to protect your health. Some reasonable suggestions for taking care of yourself include:

  • Follow a plant-based diet with an emphasis on green, leafy vegetables and whole grains.
  • Acknowledge the importance of a support group, whether it's family, friends or a faith community.
  • Make it a priority to get a decent night's sleep.
  • Have realistic goals.

Also realize that you are your own best advocate. When you seek health care, know the medications that you are taking, what they're for and when they were started. And equally important, have a very specific and targeted discussion with your provider. Don't become distracted by family issues, the economy or political problems that don't impact your care.

Simple guidelines? No, but they are at least a step in the right direction.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

6 Comments Posted

Aug. 01, 2012