Anxiety Doubles Cancer Mortality. It Doesn’t Have To… Here’s How.

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portrait of a young woman pulling her hair

 

Presented Sept 20, 2016 at the 29th European College of Neuropsychoparmacology Congress, the largest study to date looking at patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) reveals that anxiety more than doubles the risk of a mortality from cancer.

Even after adjusting for smoking, alcohol intake, sedentary lifestyle and other co-morbid disease conditions, just having anxiety independently increases cancer mortality rates.

 

 

The Study:

  • Looking at over 15,000 patients older than 40 years old from 1993 through 1997, researchers followed the participants through 2015.
  • Participants with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) were followed for cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
  • Age, marital status, educational level, social class, depression, chronic physical conditions, disability, smoking, alcohol intake, and physical activity level, were adjusted for.

 

The Results:

 

  • Participants with GAD were more than twice as likely to die from a cancer diagnosis than non-anxious matched controls.

 

Why? 

 

  • Anxiety has been shown to trigger inflammation and to suppress the immune system… both key to the evolution of cancer.
  • Distress from anxiety increases the load of physical stress on the body, and decreases the body’s immune system function.
  • This reduced ability of the body to use the immune system to ward off the progression of cancerous cells may be one key way that anxiety increases mortality.

 

This study comes on the heels of a study I blogged about for you last year… proving that treating anxiety actually reverses the aging process and help you live longer!

Published February 5, 2015 in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found that anxiety increases the rate of aging AND that treating anxiety helps reverse the aging process!

 

Many many many telomere lengths ago, this was me, jumping on a bed!

 

Telomeres are complexes of DNA that cap the ends of your chromosomes.

They shorten with age.

 

The length of your telomeres are considered a direct indicator of cellular and biological aging.

 

Telomere shortening is accelerated when the aging process is accelerated.

This has been shown in other disorders such as depression, stress, increased cortisol levels, oxidative stress, higher levels of inflammation and now… anxiety conditions.

 

The study:

 

  • The study looked at 1283 patients with active anxiety disorders, 459 patients with a resolved anxiety disorder, and 582 control patients with no psychiatric disorders… over 2,300 patients total.
  • The average age was 42 years and 66% of the participants were female, 34% male.

 

The Results:

  • Telomere length typically shortens by about 14 base pairs a year.
  • Accelerated aging was found in all anxiety disorders including social phobias, agoraphobia, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorders (GAD).
  • Even after controlling for sex, weight, health, lifestyle factors, smoking, drinking, etc… patients with active anxiety disorders had significantly shorter telomeres than those without anxiety (by 75 base pairs on average — over 5 years!)
  • BUT!  Participants who had their anxiety disorder adequately treated had telomere length almost the same length as their non-anxious counterparts… only a 7 telomere difference (about a 6 month difference.)

 

This shows the incredible resilience of our body to stress, disease, and trauma!!

 

  • After the anxiety was alleviated, telomere length returned to almost the exact length that non-anxious patients had!
  • And the longer the patient has been anxiety free, the closer it was in telomere length to those who had no history at all of any anxiety disorder.

 

 

Just as it is never too late to stop smoking (because there are immediate health benefits as the body immediately starts to repair)

it is NEVER too late to address anxiety… as the body is fully capable of reversing the aging effects of anxiety on our DNA.

 

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The happiest moments of my life are absolutely the ones I spend with my two children!

 

So this is yet another study to prove:

Our psychology has a direct effect on our physiology.

In other words… our emotions and state of mind matter.

As I write about here, our outlook impacts our physical body.

 

This latest study showed an average life span shortening of about 5 years or more just due to anxiety.

And a near complete reversal by addressing that anxiety.

Add years to your life by getting help when you need it.

Don’t ignore anxiety.

 

Anxiety is extremely common and there is a lot of support out there just waiting to help you.

I’ve blogged about anxiety quite a bit because just like many of you, I’ve had my own share of anxiety and have learned how to work with this energy to optimize my own health and the health of thousands of my patients who have anxiety struggles.

 

My Top 8 Blog Posts On Treating Anxiety:

 

1.  fish oil — omega 3 fatty acids offer a calming effect on the brain

2.  probiotics — the link between the body and mind starts in our gut

3.  crisis navigation — use the power of your emotions to feel your way through a crisis

4.  acupuncture — one of the best tools to release pent-up anxiety

5.  surrender — to recover from stress and trauma faster, drop your resistance

6.  deep sleep — sleep is absolutely necessary for increased daytime resiliency

7.  exercise — boost mood and decrease stress through exercise

8.  protect your sense of hope — it’s your most valuable healing tool

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Bonus…

My top 3 anxiety relieving videos:

 

1. Decrease your anxiety when Googling health information: specific tips for navigating health info online

2.  It’s OK to get sick!!!  It’s nothing to feel anxious about.  I get asked a lot… do I ever get sick?  My answer is HECK YES!  Of course!  And here’s why and what I do about it…

3.  The top 5 ways to navigate a crisis and protect your health.  A crisis is an opportunity for transformation… here’s how.

 

 

I really hope these resources help!

I truly believe in the power of positive, uplifting, empowering health information.

Positivity, support, wellness tips, encouragement, fun…  all of these things make a difference and ACTUALLY IMPACT LONGEVITY… adding years to your lifespan!

That’s why my approach to medicine and health and healing is 100% positive — unlike many other physicians and healthcare practitioners, I refuse to bring your energy down with negative information or scare you into making change.

Sustainable health doesn’t work that way.  It’s not enhanced by fear.

Sustainable health comes from connecting with pure, positive Well Being.

 

So don’t every let anyone take away your ability to reconnect to Well Being.  Scary statistics, or alarming health information that bullies one into making change… this is not helpful.

The most helpful thing is support positive forward movement when faced with a health challenge.

And today’s report, directly from the medical literature, shows the power of positivity in adding YEARS to your lifespan.

 

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If you want more help making over your health in a positive and supportive way, join my Health Flow Unleash Class that starts next month!

Welcome in 2017 with an entirely new platform of healing potential.

This is a month long class filled with uplifting daily articles, activities and support, directly from me… alongside weekly live Q&A phone calls where I personally answer every single health question you have ever had.

Join me today in this by-reservation-only class by clicking here right now.

To your beautiful, natural, ever available health!

xoxox, Laura