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Wednesday 20.11.2019 | Name days: Anda, Andīna

Stress – a major problem for residents in Latvia. How to fight it?

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29% of Latvian residents regularly experience stress. 40% of them experience stress on many occasions, whereas 22% experience stress rarely. 6% have never experienced stress, according to data from BENU Aptieka Health monitoring survey.

68% of residents experience stress at work, whereas 12% experience it at traffic congestion or when shopping. 10% of people experience stress in school or in public transports, whereas 11% experience stress elsewhere.

In spite of the belief that peace and harmony rule at home, 42% of respondents experience stress there.

Family physician Zane Zitmane says the most often causes of stress include social and financial problems, health problems, disagreements with family and co-workers, excessive workload and burnout, as well as rapid life changes (finding a new job or residence), as well as losing a loved one or facing an untreatable disease. Excessive stress can often does have an effect on many aspects of our lives. For example, problems with family members can have an effect on quality of work. The same can be said for financial difficulties, but in this case negative effects will be observed for relationships within the family. This is why it is especially important to find balance between work and family, as well as find time for physical activities, sufficient sleep and rest.

The biggest problem for health – excessive stress

Dr. Zitmane explains that a person’s nervous system provides adequate reaction of the organism to influence from the external environment. However lasting and excessive stress overloads the nervous system. This often causes different diseases. The most common one is psychosomatic illness – depression, neurovegetative dystonia, neurosis, etc.

The expert notes that excessive stress can cause skin diseases (acne, neurodermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis), problems with the digestive system (gastric ulcer, gastritis), strong headaches, arterial hypertension, as well as problems with endocrine system.

How to combat stress?

Health monitoring data reveals – 43% of people usually deal with stress by taking walks, whereas 31% combat stress by means of meals. 28% combat stress with alcoholic beverages, and 25% watch shows on TV. 22% actively partake in sports and 12% use breathing and meditation.

Dr. Zitmane does not recommend using food and alcohol to combat stress, because it will only worsen health. Consumption of sweets can cause excessive weight problems, whereas excessive use of alcohol can cause alcoholism and associated illnesses.

The doctor stresses that it would be better to combat the cause of stress instead of symptoms. If this is not possible, it may be worth going to a psychologist, psychotherapist or consult with a family physician or pharmacist.

To avoid lasting stress, it is recommended to engage in physical activities, have a healthy diet, spend time in fresh air, spend enough time sleeping and resting, as well as stay positive.

Pharmacist’s advice

BENU Aptieka pharmacist Zanda Ozoliņa notes that stress is experienced by all age groups nearly every day. Stress is part of our everyday lives. However, it is important to find balance between work, studies and rest to ensure stress levels are within acceptable range.

It is recommended to consume antioxidants, which slow ageing processes and enhance the immune system. B group vitamins, which help maintain healthy nerve impulses, as well as magnesium, should be part of a healthy diet.

The specialist stresses that rest, healthy sleep and balanced life rhythm help protect people from stress.

BENU Aptieka Health monitoring is performed by the pharmacy in cooperation with SKDS. The study was performed in August 2019. 1 009 Latvian residents aged 18 to 75 years were interviewed.

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  1. Andris says:

    This is a worrying article and only serves to sugar coat a serious problem. The 2019 data shows Latvia ranks 9th globally in suicide rates. While you keep talking about about stress as something a vitamin might fix, you are missing the dark underbelly of the predator that is mental illness, emotional crisis, suicide ideation, self harm and suicide.

    Where is the voice of mental health promotion and prevention. The Latvian health system need to get smarter about this and i don’t mean building more psychiatric institutions. mental health is a community problem. Lets get some decent services out in the community.

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