LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — We're six months into the pandemic and it's still a stressful time for everyone, but how does that stress affect your health and body?
The COVID, the kids, the chaos, the cost, the uncertainty of the future.
It’s all producing levels of stress we have never felt before, and the part of the body that feels it the most? The heart.
You’ve heard of a shade tree mechanic. We have a shade tree cardiologist, Dr. Tom Wallace.
"A normal heart rate is about 60 to 100 beats a minute and we like to see a nice, normal patter," Wallace told us.
But when the stress builds up that all changes.
Wallace said if your resting heartrate is elevated more than normal, that could be a sign of heart stress.
But we don’t have equipment to constantly measure that accurately every day so there are messages your body sends.
"The sensation of feeling flushed or chest pressure of chest heaviness," he said. "Feeling short of breath and you really shouldn’t be short of breath."
And there are emotional messages too. Wallace said irritability and agitation could be a sign.
The heart races. Blood pressure rises. Heart disease can become chronic. The lack of attention to bothersome episodes can lead to catastrophic events.
But with the pressures surrounding us these days what do we do? .
Dr. Wallace said the simple answer is a mixture of good sleeping habits, exercise daily and avoiding a lot of caffeine and alcohol.
And it may be the last thing on the doctor’s list, but it might just be the first thing you do to protect yourself. Wallace suggested prayer and meditation as well.
Wisdom from a shade tree cardiologist who treats the outer problems who knows the value of inner peace.