By Apollo 24/7, Published on - 26 February 2021
Stress is the natural response of the body to a threatening or challenging situation. Several things can trigger stress, from daily hassles to major life events. Various research pieces have concluded that prolonged stressful events can worsen or increase the risk of developing heart diseases, kidney disease, obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems and asthma. In a recent study, scientists concluded that stress-related disorders can increase the risk of developing acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease.
Stress-related disorders (SRDs) are a group of disorders that occur due to excessive or prolonged stressful events such as losing a loved one, getting treated for a life-threatening illness or a natural calamity. These events increase the vulnerability of the person to mental health illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and adjustment disorder.
In the recent study published in the journal Kidney International Reports on 13th January 2021, scientists from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Sweden, conducted extensive research to find out the effects of stress-related disorders on the commencement and progression of kidney diseases.
In this research, scientists divided the participants of the Stockholm CREAtinine Measurements [SCREAM] project into two categories:
All these participants were in the age group of 35 to 57 years. Scientists tested the serum creatinine and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of all the participants from 2006 to 2011.
The primary aim of the study was to determine the effect of SRDs on the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is said to be progressing if the patient shows a decline of over 40% in GFR or requires kidney replacement therapy.
The secondary aim was to determine the effect of SRDs on the development of acute kidney injury, which is marked by a rapid increase in creatinine levels. A decrease in GFR or increase in creatinine levels indicates improper functioning of one or both the kidneys.
The results of the study showed that:
With this study, scientists concluded that stress-related diseases increase the risk of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. However, further studies would be required on this topic to confirm this observation and to examine the underlying mechanism.
They further stated that people diagnosed with SRDs must get their kidney function monitored to prevent any damage.
It is normal to feel stressed at times, but some ways can help a person deal with their stress effectively. Some of these include:
Prolonged stress can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can cause various systemic diseases. In the study mentioned above, scientists concluded that people suffering from stress-related disorders are at increased risk of developing kidney diseases. People must exercise and practise mindfulness to reduce their stress levels. People can also reach out to mental health experts if they require help.
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