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Stress and Anxiety

Researchers estimate that stress and anxiety have a lot to do with the inability to get a good night’s rest. A study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore found that people who awoke several times during the night had a worse mood in the morning than those who get the same amount of sleep without interruptions [30]. Mood and stress are challenges for those struggling with habit changes related to healthy eating and other lifestyle habits.

Stress may be the trigger in most instances of low mood, anxiety, and sleeplessness according to Vladimir Badmeav, MD, PhD, of American Medical Holdings. “The U.S. is the largest market for anxiety disorder therapeutics and supplements worldwide with the highest number of patients reporting anxiety disorders anywhere in the world” [31]. Dr. Badmeav noted that stress is one of the most significant health issues of the twenty-first century.

The human body produces cortisol as a stress response, which in turn results in anxiety, sleeplessness, low mood, and cognitive disruption. A typically busy lifestyle drains energy—mental and physical— which decreases quality of life and often times causes a sensation of feeling overwhelmed. The body’s response to this metabolic stress can involve overeating, which sabotages the bariatric patient’s success in losing weight.

Reducing stress by going for a walk instead of eating can have wide- ranging positive effects. Relaxation-response training can be taught during group sessions or private consultations through visualizations that aid weight management [32].

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