Managing Stress With A Chronic Health Condition

Managing Stress With A Chronic Health Condition

Millions of people struggle daily with a chronic health condition. This can be a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Chron’s, chronic pain, depression, cancer, and many rare conditions that affect daily life in a major way.

Managing Stress…

Many times, stress is tossed around as a cause and trigger for chronic conditions. Stress is also thought to exacerbate chronic health conditions and life in general. When learning to manage, you must take a slow and steady approach to ensure you don’t exacerbate any current symptoms.

Managing stress is not the answer to relieving pain and providing a magic cure for any condition whether acute or chronic, but the benefit of incorporating stress management can have a positive significant impact on your overall wellbeing especially when battling chronic health conditions.

Why Is Stress Such A Big Deal?

Managing Stress With A Chronic Health Condition, pencil breaking
  1. Stress Exacerbates and worsens body functions
    • Headache
    • Muscle and joint pain
    • Fatigue
    • Digestive issues
    • Sexual dysfunction
  2. Stress weakens your immune system
    • More difficult to tackle infections
    • Easier to become sick
    • Gateway to autoimmune problems
  3. Stress affects how your brain works
    • Decreased concentration
    • Difficulty focusing on tasks
    • Poor reasoning and problem solving
    • Difficulty with memory
  4. Stress increases cortisol hormone
    • Causes hormone imbalances
    • Mood changes
    • Weight gain
    • Trouble falling and/or staying asleep
  5. Stress depletes important nutrients
    • Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms, faintness, and tremors
    • Deficiency in B vitamins leads to fatigue and weakness
    • Vitamin D deficiency causing weakness in bones, depression, and anxiety

Lack of essential vitamins and nutrients greatly affects those suffering from chronic health conditions. It is important to keep the body supplied with the necessary nutrients to eliminate the possibility of a deficiency contributing to chronic symptoms.

What To Do To Relieve And Manage Stress

Managing Stress With A Chronic Health Condition, in a globe
  1. Create more “feel good” chemicals like endorphins
    • Exercise for 30 minutes
    • A physical hobby you enjoy (hula hoop, jump rope, swim)
  2. Self-care
    • Relaxing bath
    • Soothing music
    • Calming scents with oils or candles or diffuser
  3. Find a moment of quiet time
  4. The art of distraction
  5. Share your concerns
    • Therapist/talk therapy
    • Psychologist/Psychiatrist
    • Cognitive Behavioral therapy
    • Have an accountability system/partner
  6. Correct imbalances with medicine
    • Anti-anxiety
    • Anti-depressant

It is not always easy to admit you may need a little extra help from western medicine, but the benefits don’t make medicine such a bad option. More often than not, the way we feel may be due to chemical imbalances more than our actual lifestyle. If this is the case, medicine is an appropriate tool to use to correct any issues that may be out of your control.

Helpful tips


Just as we need to manage our health while we are awake, we also need recovery time. Plenty of sleep and rest is very important to maintaining your health, as many processes in the body require you to sleep to allow the recovery and regeneration process to go smoothly.

Be responsible

Managing Stress With A Chronic Health Condition, doctor

It gets difficult managing chronic health conditions, but it’s better to stay on top of your health than fall behind. Do your best to keep up with appointments, take medications as prescribed, and stay involved in your healthcare. Living with a chronic health condition is not easy. Relieving unnecessary stress is one of a few ways to ease the strain of having to take care of your health and still live a great life. Take the time to take care of yourself and you’ll be glad you did.

If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to keep reading check out our other article on Stress And How It Affects Your Body, Diet, and Training

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