Besides the obvious emotional consequences, the loss of a loved one can have some negative physical effects. A heart attack can occur within the first day of grief and stress can cause cravings for sugar and fat. These can result in eating disorders.
Stress triggers cravings for sugar and fat
Having high levels of stress in your life can cause your body to crave fat and sugary foods. In the fight or flight response, your adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol that raises blood pressure and increases your appetite.
A Finnish study found that obese women became obese because of stress eating. In addition, people who were stressed out during childhood were more likely to be overweight later in life.
The American Psychological Association survey reports that one-fourth of Americans suffer from high levels of stress. Chronic stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and poor energy levels. It can also make you less likely to exercise.
When you are under stress, your body releases the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones affect the nervous system and the digestive tract. They trigger the fight or flight response in the body and slow down your metabolism. You may feel physical tension and even experience heartburn.
A small, but promising study found that drinking sugary beverages decreased the amount of stress-induced cortisol. The effects of sugar consumption were observed in the hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in regulating emotional responses.
Depression and anxiety can cause disordered eating
Several studies have found that depression and anxiety can cause disordered eating. It’s no surprise that the two disorders are connected in the brain. In fact, depressive symptoms tend to predate eating disorders.
When it comes to disordered eating, the best treatment for a person with co-occurring depression and eating disorder may be medication and therapy. The right treatment will help you manage your symptoms and prevent them from getting worse.
While there are many similarities between the depressive symptoms of depression and the behaviors associated with disordered eating, there are also several differences. For example, depression is often associated with a lack of appetite and increased social anxiety. On the other hand, individuals with eating disorders experience a heightened level of anxiety about the consequences of eating. This may include nausea, vomiting, or failure to reach the expected weight gain.
Although the two conditions share similar symptoms, the underlying cause of the two conditions is quite different. For instance, people with eating disorders tend to develop compulsive rituals related to food.
A heart attack can happen in the first day of grief
During the first week of bereavement, people are more likely to suffer from a heart attack. This is due to the fact that bereavement is a period of stress and can have a negative impact on your cardiovascular system.
The good news is that most people recover from bereavement within a year. However, for the rest of us, grief can cause a number of health hazards. For example, the effects of grief can lead to a higher rate of depression, which increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Aside from that, the resulting inflammation can wreak havoc on your existing health problems.
A study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center looked at a group of 1,985 people who had experienced a heart attack. The results show that those who had lost a close friend, a family member, or a pet had a higher risk of having a heart attack than those who were not.
Sleep hygiene after a loss
Those who have experienced the death of a loved one can experience sleep disturbances. These can range from insomnia to trouble falling and staying asleep. If you are having problems sleeping, it may be time to seek help from a medical professional. In addition to addressing your symptoms, you can make changes in your lifestyle to promote quality sleep.
Taking care of yourself after a loss can help you recover from bereavement. The first step is to acknowledge your feelings. Grief can be difficult to deal with, and you may need some time to accept your new normal.
During the grieving process, intense emotions can come in waves. You may also find it hard to understand the reason for the loss. If this is the case, you may need to reassess your bedroom to determine how reminders of the person you lost affect your emotional state.
If you are dealing with insomnia, you should try to avoid stimulants, such as coffee, caffeine, and nicotine. You can also try to get more natural light. The sun can help regulate your body’s circadian rhythms.