Friday, April 6, 2012

Cancer Caregivers and Heart Health

We all know that stress plays a critical role in heart health. Stress can lead to many cardiovascular complications, can increase blood pressure, and can ultimately be fatal. And when it comes to the health and well being of a family member who might be living with cancer, stress levels are beyond the normal limits.

According to a new study published in the journal Circulation, medical and clinical attention must be given to the partners and caregivers of cancer patients in greater numbers.

A new study from the Centre for Primary Healthcare Research, which is associated with Lund University in Sweden, highlights the physical health risks of having a partner with cancer. The findings suggest an increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by a range of 13 to 29 percent. Stress is to blame, the researchers say in a press release from Lund.  –EveryDayHealth.com

Caregivers Taking Care of Themselves
When we are spending all of our time caring and worrying about a family member with cancer, especially terminal cancer, we began to take our own health for granted. We began to lose our healthy eating habits, avoid activities, avoid the gym and exercise, put off things as simple as bathing and oral hygiene, and limit our time spent with other friends and family members. Everything is focused on that family member with cancer.

This is completely understandable and unavoidable to an extent, however with this new heart study showing up to a 29% increased risk of heart disease and/or stroke it’s time to evaluate how we not only care for the sick, but for the caregivers as well.

What You Can Do
If you have a friend who is a ‘caregiver,’ taking care of a family member with cancer, be there for them. Force them to take some time for themselves. If you are that caregiver, understand the importance of taking care of yourself for your own heart health.

And, as always, there are all-natural arginine supplements that you can take while caring for your loved one.

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