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How your mind can cause diseases

Updated at: Jan 14, 2013
Mental Health
Written by: Dr Anjali MukherjeePublished at: Jan 14, 2013
How your mind can cause diseases

Why do we fall sick or develop diseases? Most of us blame the physical causes. But these causes and explanations seem inadequate when we see people, who take extra care of themselves falling prey to diseases, explains ace dieticia

A contributor to diseasesWhy do we fall sick or develop diseases? Most of us put the blame for the same onto physical causes like bacterial infections or wrong food, late nights, lack of exercise, genetics etc.


But these causes and explanations seem inadequate when we see people, who take extra care of themselves falling prey to diseases. Studies indicate that at least 25% of the people who are unable to cope with the stressors in their lives tend to develop disease more as compared to others. Such people are usually discontented with their lives. Daily life ordinary events, both at home and work seem to be more stressful to them than to others. Stress is an unavoidable part of life. The only thing that makes a difference to our state of health is the way we handle this daily stress. Some people handle it well and remain calm, collected in most situations and hence it has little impact on their physical or emotional health whereas others who are very negatively influenced by stress generally experience many problems like chronic fatigue, joint pain, migraine, high blood pressure, heart disease etc.


Physical Implications of a disturbed mind

Researchers estimate that 80% of all major illnesses like cancer, skin disorders, cardiovascular disease and even backache are related to mind and behaviour. Stress is perceived to be a psychological problem but it has very real physical effects. When the already emotionally overloaded body is further contaminated it with chemicals and strange foods, it goes through many physiological changes. Increased secretion of adrenaline, acceleration of heart beat, greater tension in the muscles, slower or improper digestion are the results of such physiological changes. Blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels may rise, there is thickening of blood and making it more prone to clot formation. This in turn increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke.


Nutrient depletion and stress


The stress hormones – cortisone, cortisol, suppress the immune system, leading to problems like cold, cough, fever, respiratory infections etc. They accelerate the metabolism of proteins, fats, carbohydrates causing the body to excrete amino acids, potassium, magnesium, leading to leg cramps and muscle fatigue. So most mentally tired people experience problems like bodyache, muscle pain, backache and headache. Also, in a disturbed state of mind, your body cannot absorb nutrients from the food that you eat. Eventually you become overfed and undernourished. Because of the excess calories that you consume, you will gain in weight and as the nutrients do not get absorbed, you will remain undernourished.


Dietary support


1. Limit your coffee intake as caffeine in the coffee contributes to panic attacks and nervousness.
2. Increase your intake of raw vegetables and fresh fruits as they are rich in flavonoids, which help to neutralize dangerous free radicals.
3. Physical inactivity is also a form of stress to the body. Hence, do exercise to keep stress under control.
4. Avoid carbonated drinks, fried foods, refined foods made from white flour, sugar, foods containing colour, additives processed foods etc as they chemicalize your body and add to the toxic overload.
5. Chamomile tea (herb tea) has a calming effect on the nerves and soothes the digestive tract. Taking one or two cups at bed-time will also help you sleep better.
6. Kava Kava tea also helps to relax the body and has a calming effect on the mind.
7. Ashwagandha helps to offset the effects of stress and acts as a nerve tonic.


And above all try to create a loving relationship with your near & dear ones as that has a lot to do with your state of health, than just basic physiology and genetics.


Those who lack job satisfaction, external support and love from family and friends are more likely to develop disease. The human mind has tremendous powers over what happens in our bodies. Your thoughts and emotions have the ability to create or destroy health. A positive mental attitude can go a long way in promoting health and well-being in a person.


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