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Debt and Your Health

One television commercial says to its audience, “You’re not just in debt, debt is all around you.” And it is! Almost everyone around you has some debt and almost everything you see, is a product of debt, in one form or another.

A little debt can be a good thing if you treat it with respect and know when enough is enough, but debt can also be a sickness that can turn your life into shambles. Unwanted and/or uncontrolled debt can cause a number of health problems, both mental and physical, that are related to stress.

Credit card debt is often referred to as “killer debt” because most people max out their credit cards and then worry about how the bills are going to get paid, and worrying can cause significant health problems.

According to a poll that was conducted by the Associated Press/IPSOS in December of 2005, it was found that approximately half of all American citizens worry often about their debts and some say they are worried a great deal of the time.

The body has a built in fight or flight response when it comes to stress that is necessary when a person is under attack or needs to react very quickly to a situation. The body reacts to stress due to debt in the same way and when this response is put into play because of debt stress over a long period of time, it can have a detrimental effect on the body.

When the body is under stress, hormones, adrenaline and cortisol are released into the blood stream and serve to raise a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. These chemicals are also responsible for elevating breathing and altering how the immune system functions. These elements are necessary if a person is required to fight and then flee, which is a quick bodily response to an unexpected incident.

But if the body, due to uncontrollable stress, releases these elements often enough and over an extended period of time, it can lead to a host of health problems that can be very serious and potentially life threatening, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

Studies have also shown that losing sleep because you are worrying about debt can make it difficult to lose weights. Not getting enough sleep causes a decrease in a hormone, called leptin, that regulates the appetite. It is the levels of leptin in the body that lets the brain know when the body requires food and when it does not. Low levels of leptin means that the control for food consumption is not there and this is often linked to obesity.

When a person is deprived of sleep, weight gain is often the result because when the body has a deficit in one area, it takes from another area. Headaches and particularly migraines are often the result of worrying over too many debts. Digestive problems are also associated with debt.   

Mental problems are another realm of health related issues that are associated with stress that is brought on by too much debt. Many people have problems, both at home and at work, because their minds are overburdened with constant worries about debt and debt related issues.

Your spending habits can lead to tremendous stress that causes anger, anxiety, frustration, moodiness, and a causes a general lack of productiveness at home and in the workplace.



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