Depression and Heart Disease: The Link You Need to Know About

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What is depression? 

Depression is a mental disorder that causes a person to feel persistently sad or lose interest in activities. People with depression may also have symptoms of anxiety, irritability, and sleep problems. Depression is more than just feeling down for a few days. It is a medical condition that must be treated by a qualified mental health professional.

Depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors. Some people may be more likely to develop depression if they have certain genes. Other risk factors include having a history of abuse or trauma, being exposed to violence, or having a family member with depression. Environmental stressors can also trigger depression.

Depression is among the most common disorders seen in individuals regardless of age. It affects adults of all ages but is more common in women and young adults.

What are the specific links between depression and the heart? The following are some ways depression may affect your heart health:

Increased inflammation 

Inflammation is a natural phenomenon that helps the body heal from injuries and fight off infection. However, it can damage the tissues and lead to many health problems when it becomes chronic. Depression is linked to chronic inflammation, which in turn, increases the risk for heart disease.

There are several ways depression can contribute to inflammation. For one, people who are depressed tend to have higher levels of stress hormones like cortisol, which can increase inflammation. Consequently, it is advisable to consult the best heart hospital in Delhi or at your preferred location if that is the case.

Higher levels of stress hormones 

One of the ways in which depression increases the risk for heart disease is by raising levels of stress hormones in the body. Stress hormones such as cortisol & adrenaline are released in response to perceived threats and harm the body over time. When these hormones are constantly elevated due to chronic stress, they can lead to high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and hardening of the arteries.

In addition to its effects on stress hormones, depression also decreases essential antioxidants like vitamin C and glutathione levels. Antioxidants protect against damage caused by oxidative stress, which is a significant contributor to heart disease.

Disrupted sleep 

Just as heart disease can disrupt sleep, conversely, disturbed sleep increases the risk for heart disease. That is because both conditions share common risk factors, such as inflammation and stress.

Depression is a cause of sleep problems. People who are depressed are more likely to have trouble falling and staying asleep. They may also wake up earlier than usual and have difficulty getting back to sleep.

Reduced sleep can lead to increased stress levels, which can contribute to heart disease. Stress raises levels of inflammatory markers in the body, which are linked to an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Poor diet 

One of the ways depression increases your risk for heart disease is by affecting your diet. A poor and unbalanced diet can contribute to heart disease in several ways.

Depression may cause you to eat unhealthy foods high in saturated fat and sugar. These foods can lead to weight gain, which puts you at greater risk for heart disease. Depression may also cause you to skip meals or not eat enough, leading to malnutrition. Malnutrition can weaken your heart muscle and make you more susceptible to heart disease.

You may not seek help for heart symptoms if you are depressed

Assume you are already suffering from depression and you develop heart-related symptoms such as palpitations or chest pain. A serious health diagnosis, coupled with these symptoms, can give anyone a sense of anxiety. A doctor’s appointment to discuss depression symptoms can be overwhelming for people suffering from depression.

The energy or motivation to attend medical appointments may be lacking in people suffering from depression symptoms.

If you experience any new symptoms, consult the best heart hospital in Delhi as soon as possible. Sometimes, depression and heart conditions exhibit similar symptoms, and a symptom that you perceive as a result of your depression may be related to another condition.

New heart diagnoses can result in depression, which may make the situation worse

A person who has recently suffered a heart attack, undergone heart surgery, or been affected by heart conditions such as coronary artery disease may experience depression due to these events.

When you suffer from a heart condition, you may need more medical attention, dietary changes, and prescription medication to treat it. In addition, you may experience increased stress associated with the adjustment to your changed lifestyle. It can be overwhelming, leading to depressive symptoms in some individuals.

It is important to note that without proper treatment, depression can exacerbate existing heart conditions and increase the risk of heart attacks. A person with coronary artery disease who is untreated for depression is at an increased risk of developing the disease. If such a situation arises, it is best to consult with the best heart hospital in Delhi.

Conclusion

Depression is a problem that can have many negative consequences, including an increased risk for heart disease. If you or your peers are suffering from depression, it is important to seek help from a professional. Many resources are available to those struggling with mental health issues, and getting help can make a big difference in your overall health and well-being.

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