02/24/2014 10:23 am ET | Updated Feb 24, 2014

What Stress Can Do To The Heart, From Sharon Mulvagh, MD (VIDEO)

Who would have thought that there is such a thing as “good” stress on the heart? Mayo Clinic cardiologist Sharon Mulvagh, MD, had some fascinating information to share with us regarding this topic.

“Happiness can actually be stressful!” Sharon Mulvagh, MD, laughed. So-called good stress is the kind that makes you happy or productive. If you can go out and release those stress hormones—whether they are caused by adrenaline or euphoria—this type of stress is actually good for the heart. The hormones associated with the age-old fight or flight instinct, for example, can cause good stress, since a healthy person can release those hormones through exercise or physical activity.

According to Sharon Mulvagh, MD, bad stress results when we turn certain intense hormones inward and are unable to efficiently release them. Anger, sadness and other related emotions can cause bad stress on the heart.

Many people experience stress-induced heart attacks, especially women, who account for 80% of this statistic. In tests for a stress-induced heart attack, there is no blockage or clogged valves, but rather, a ballooning of the heart muscle.
For more tips for a healthy heart, view the slideshow below:

Tips For A Healthy Heart

How healthy is your heart? Find out by taking the Heart Health Quiz here.

For informational purposes only. Please talk to your doctor about your individual situation. If you're having symptoms of a heart attack, call 911.

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