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The Mind-Body Lin​k: Modern Stress and Disease

Does stress or anxiety really cause physical illness?


“Our physical responses to stress basically work like this: when your brain perceives a threat (a ‘stress’), certain hormones are released. These powerful hormones redirect energy and resources to respond to physical threats. Blood flow is restricted to some organs to conserve energy, while blood flow is increased to other organs, like muscles, to increase strength to fight (or run from) the threat. Modern stress is frequently ongoing. If you never return to a stress-free state, it can damage your entire body. High levels of some of these stress hormones in the bloodstream have been linked to hypertension, diabetes and even excess fat.”

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Robert Dickinson, MD

​My philosophy of care is to give my patients all the information they need to make an informed choice. I make sure their questions are answered and they feel comfortable with what I am recommending. I engage them in the decision making process and ensure they understand the changes and medications I will be adding to their daily regimen. I motivate them to do the simple things that keep them healthy; keeping their weight reasonable, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake where needed and maintaining their exercise regimens. Ultimately, I promote moderation in their habits such that they can expect a long and healthy life.