Whole Life Magazine

April / May 2017

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/807408

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 43

healthy living By Laura G. Owens Rock Body YOUR LADIES, START HEART SCREENINGS AT 20 TARGETED SUPPLEMENTS OFFSET LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD STRESS PARTNER DEPRESSED? OFFER EXTRA SUPPORT I t seems obvious that if your loved one is depressed, he needs more support. But it's not easy to be extra loving when your partner is angry, withdrawn, depressed, or lash- ing out. But hang in there. Research shows the more supportive you are when your partner is depressed, the more you'll help him (or her) guard against fu- ture mental health issues. "When we experience stress, especially high levels of stress, we are particular- ly vulnerable and perhaps that's why partner support in those times is so im- pactful and long-lasting," said Matthew Johnson, a professor in the Universi- ty of Alberta's Faculty of Agricultural, Life, and Envi- ronmental Sciences. A 2017 study published in Developmental Psychology surveyed couples on depression, self-esteem, and support. Researchers found that supporting each other during times of depression and stress is mutually benefi cial. Men felt better about themselves when they were more giving to their partner. And women who received support had higher self-esteem and reduced depression in the future. One of the best things you can do for a depressed partner is to offer what Johnson refers to as "invisible support." "Studies suggest offering support your partner may not even be aware of, but would still be a helpful gesture, like taking care of a sink full of dirty dishes they haven't seen yet. You can offer support, just don't draw atten- tion to it." Other ways to offer support for a partner struggling with feelings of self-doubt and sadness is to lend an empathetic ear if they feel like talking. And on a practical note, pitch in more. "Handle the logistics of dai- ly life by offering to take on tasks that aren't normally yours, such as planning meals or driving children to school," said Johnson. S cientists have long known that early childhood stress affects memory and learning later in life. But research pub- lished in the FASEB Journal suggests that adding the essential micro nutrients methionine, B6, B12, and folic acid may offset the negative effects of early life stress. These nutrients are not made by the body so they need to be ingested through diet. "We hope that this study can contribute to novel nutritional strat- egies that help prevent lasting conse- quences of a stressful childhood on later mental health," said Aniko Korosi, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work. T he American Heart Association recommends women begin annual heart screenings at age 20, but a 2016 survey conducted by Orlando Health found 60 percent of women thought they didn't need to begin until after age 30. "Women can begin devel- oping atherosclerosis, plaque in their arteries, in their teens and early twen- ties. It is vital to under- stand risk factors and make appropriate life changes as early as possible," said Dr. Carolina Demori, a cardiologist who leads the Women's Cardiac Center at the Orlando Health Heart Institute. Screenings should include weight and body mass index (BMI), cholester- ol and glucose levels, blood pressure and waist circumference, all of which are associated with heart health but can be controlled to lower risks. Women aged 20 and older should understand their cardiac risks because symptoms of heart disease often pres- ent differently in women than in men. For example, during a heart attack, men are more likely to experience left side chest pain that sometimes radi- ates down the left arm. Women may experience the same symptoms but also have indigestion, fatigue, weak- ness, and shortness of breath. 14 wholelifetimes.com

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - April / May 2017