If You Have This Blood Type, You May Be More Stressed
How important is blood type to your overall health? While many aspects of health and wellness are within our control, blood type isn't—so knowing the health conditions associated with our blood type can help with preventative care, especially when it comes to stress. "While your blood type may put you at a higher risk for certain conditions, nothing is definitive," says Douglas Guggenheim, MD. "Being aware of how your blood type may impact your health is a good start, but it's also just as important to see your physician for regular check-ups and maintain a healthy lifestyle." Here is the blood type most commonly associated with stress, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
The Danger of Stress
Chronic, unchecked stress is terrible for your health over the long term. "Chronic stress can lead to overeating, weight gain and obesity," says Jessica Kennedy, DO. "One study found that high cortisol levels over long periods of time leads to weight issues. Patients with chronic stress weighed more, had larger waistlines and had higher BMIs than people with low cortisol levels. If the effects of stress are adding up and starting to cause you mental distress and physical symptoms, talk to your primary care provider. Many signs of chronic stress are symptoms of other health issues."
Not All Stress Is Bad
While chronic stress is dangerous, short-term stress is an important tool in human survival. "There are two main types of stress—acute, and chronic," says Dina Aronson, MS, RD. "Acute stress is also called the 'fight or flight' response, where we are faced with a threat and the body adapts by giving us a burst of energy to escape or fight off the threat. Think about the mom who fights off an attacker to protect her child, or outrunning a wild animal, or saving someone from a burning building – these are acts we wouldn't be able to accomplish without that massive stress response. This is a healthy adaptation and survival mechanism, and involves sudden physical changes including release of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, increased heart rate, inability to properly digest food, faster breathing, and insulin and sugar spikes. After the stressor is removed, the body returns to a normal state."
Stress and COVID-19
If you're already predisposed to stress, the pandemic is understandably making a bad situation worse. "Certainly, the pandemic is causing distress," says Tracy D Vannorsdall, Ph.D. "There has been a general uptick in emotional distress, anxiety and depression. We're also seeing more patients for problems with alcohol consumption and sleep disorders, both of which help us regulate our emotions and can contribute to mood difficulties. People with preexisting vulnerabilities to mental or physical health problems are particularly at risk."
Blood Type A Is Linked to Stress
People with blood type A are prone to having more cortisol in their bodies—and therefore at a higher risk of stress. "If you have type A blood, you may have more trouble handling stress," says Glenn E. Ramsey, MD, Northwestern Medical Group, Pathology. "Those with type A tend to have heightened levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body. Here are small steps to reduce anxiety and stress and how to stay healthy. Knowing your blood type is one more way to better understand and manage your health. While your blood type is a genetic gift that cannot be altered, making healthy choices can help you reduce the risks to your health."
How To Manage Stress
If you know your blood type puts you at increased risk of stress, it's important to be proactive in managing it. "Address issues as they arise, rather than procrastinate, which tends to intensify stress," says Aronson. "Escaping stress is ok sometimes, but turning to things like alcohol, drugs, gambling, excessive video gaming, and compulsive use of social media can be damaging coping mechanisms. Stress is, no doubt, really hard to avoid during these unprecedented times. Recognizing causes and triggers, and finding ways that work for you to alleviate them, are important to both your mental and physical health."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.