Stressed today, sick tomorrowBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-and-illness/MY01056
- With Mayo Clinic oncologist
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.Edward Creagan, M.D.
"The magic of the electronic village is transforming health information. The mouse and keyboard have extended the stethoscope to the 500 million people now online." — Dr. Edward Creagan
The power of the medium inspires Dr. Edward Creagan as he searches for ways to share Mayo Clinic's vast resources with the general public.
Dr. Creagan, a Newark, N.J., native, is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice medicine and palliative care. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1973 and in 1999 was president of the staff of Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Creagan, a professor of medical oncology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, was honored in 1995 with the John and Roma Rouse Professor of Humanism in Medicine Award and in 1992 with the Distinguished Mayo Clinician Award, Mayo's highest recognition. He has been recognized with the American Cancer Society Professorship of Clinical Oncology.
He describes his areas of special interest as "wellness as a bio-psycho-social-spiritual-financial model" and fitness, mind-body connection, aging and burnout.
Dr. Creagan has been an associate medical editor with Mayo Clinic's health information websites and has edited publications and CD-ROMs and reviewed articles.
"We the team of (the website) provide reliable, easy-to-understand health and wellness information so that each of us can have productive, meaningful lives," he says.
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Stressed today, sick tomorrow
By Edward T. Creagan, M.D.
At a recent workshop, a professor asked participants to draw a line about 6 inches long on a piece of paper and then divide the line into 12 parts. Each part signified a month of the preceding year. Attendees were then asked to place a mark next to each month in which they had an illness that affected their quality of life. It could be minor, such as an intestinal upset, a skin reaction or a migraine, or something more serious, such as a condition requiring surgery. Participants were then asked to think back on whether a stressful event preceded the illness.
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What were the results? Not surprisingly, most participants acknowledged that illness often followed a period of stress. The connection between stress and illness has been demonstrated in many medical studies. One such study found that healthy adults exposed to a cold virus were twice as likely to get sick if they reported being under stress. Research has also demonstrated that people in high-pressure situations, such as astronauts, students and athletes, have more upper respiratory infections than other groups.
Does this resonate with your experience? It is an important question because if we can anticipate stressful events in our lives, we can take precautions to keep ourselves healthy, such as staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and being vigilant about hand washing.
What else can we do to inoculate ourselves against stress-related illness?blog index