Stress and chronic illness

In our daily lives, we encounter situations which increase our stress level. Those situations can be the cause of our chronic illness, or more often, they exacerbate that illness. In lupus and in fibromyalgia, for example, times of stress may directly correlate with flares. In the case of diabetes, stress is a known cause of increasing blood sugar, so we have less control over our diabetes.

Another example which applies to some, but not all, sufferers is found in the obese individual. Most of the time when there is extreme stress (for example, job loss and a chronic illness like diabetes), people tend to overeat. This very often lays the groundwork for heart disease which is the #1 killer in the United States.

The following interview about stress is with Dr. Marco De La Cruz MD, licensed family and marital counselor who until recently practiced family medicine, and was director of  Behavioral Medicine at Rush University in Chicago, Illinois; 75% of visits to the doctor were because of stress-induced illness. From it I learned that yes, I do have lupus, but I began to correlate my flares and ‘not good’ days, with the stress in my life.

Dr. De La Cruz has done extensive study of the connection between the Mind and Body, nutritional therapies and Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Recently, he authored a book, available on, entitled
Balancing Act: A Mind-Body-Spirit Approach for Optimal Healthin which our lives are explained as just that, a Balancing Act, and the importance of maintaining that balance is emphasized.

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5 thoughts on “Stress and chronic illness

  1. Pingback: Holistic Health Daily Breaking News 10-26-11

  2. Pingback: Managing Stress and Getting Help

  3. Thank you, Linda. I think it’s inportamt to know the scope of what mismanaged stress can do to your health. It could motivate some people to take action and start managing their stress better.

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