Originally published February 2 2009
The Ailing Economy is Making People Sicker
by Jo Hartley
(NaturalNews) Medical centers around the country are noticing an increase in patient ills that seems to be connected to the ill economy. Patients are lining up with rising blood pressure and obese patients who had been losing weight are suddenly reversing that trend with the return to cheaper foods and abandoned gym memberships. Additionally, screening tests are being skipped as people save money that would be spent on copayments and clinics are seeing an increasing number of patients exhibiting anxiety and depression in response to economic difficulties.
The economic downturn seems intricately tied to the health and wellbeing of Americans even though this current crisis is too new for any organized statistics about the health consequences. Previous recessions and sharp unemployment increases have been linked to increases in fatalities from cancer, heart disease, and psychiatric illnesses.
In general interviews recently, both family practitioners and specialists have reported that almost all have seen patients who have been suffering illnesses connected to the economic turmoil.
In particular, physicians who treat patients with high blood pressure have seen an increase in people who are now experiencing elevated blood pressure readings. Most patients insist that their elevated readings are not a result of changes to their prescription schedule, but rather due to stress connected to the financial recession.
Another possibility is that patients who are feeling increased stress levels in their lives are not eating the same quality diet as they had been previously. Fewer fruits and vegetables and more processed foods will quickly raise blood pressure readings. In addition to this, if patients are experiencing headaches connected to their stress levels this may result in them taking anti-inflammatory medication that will increase water retention. This will make their current physical condition worse.
Obese patients who suddenly can no longer afford to eat as healthily as they were or who cannot afford to continue health club memberships are beginning to regain weight.
Medical centers that treat psychiatric illnesses are reporting a marked rise in help requests over the last several months. This seems to be at least partially due to patients reducing their medications to save money.
In the beginning stages of the financial crisis, people were somewhat immobilized and were not seeking help out of fear of incurred medical expenses. Another concern they had was that any necessary hospitalization would cause them to lose their employment.
As the crisis continued and the economy worsened, people's despair worsened as well. Now, over the last two months, the number of people seeking help in psychiatric emergency rooms has increased much more than expected. This suggests that people may have been putting off seeking help until they could not put it off any longer.
Many people have resorted to old negative habits to cope with their stress levels. People returning to former addictions as a way of coping with stress are creating a big increase in clinics that treat addictions.
About the authorJo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
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