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 Naturopathic Medicine: Six Ways Your Lifestyle Can Make a Difference 
Lauri Aesoph M. ND ©

6. Stress
Last, but not least, there's stress. Although we've come to know stress as an emotional or mental strain, it can also refer to an imbalance of any health habit: eating too much sugar or fat, exercising too much or too little, not getting enough rest. Or it can mean exposure to pollution, poisons or excessive noise. Whatever the cause, repeated stress can lead to sickness.

Although much of our knowledge about stress's affect on health is anecdotal, research continues to be done on the link between disease and stress. Herpes (25), menstrual cramps (26), the common cold (27), angina (chest pain) (28) and even cavities (29) are aggravated or brought on in part by emotional or mental stress.

We can't control everything about our health. Genetics, accidents, age and pollution are out of our reach. But we can make decisions about some things like diet, exercise, rest, smoking and drinking. The best life is made up of healthy choices.

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  14. Weitzman M, Gortmaker S, Sobol A. Maternal smoking and behavior problems of children. Pediatrics 1992;90(3):342-49.
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  20. Fontelo PA. Can smoking be child abuse? (letter). American Journal of Public Health 1993;83(3):429-30.
  21. Zhu B et al. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke increases myocardial infarct size in rats. Circulation 1994;89(3):1282-90.
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  28. Yeung AC et al. The effect of atherosclerosis on the vasomotor response of coronary arteries to mental stress. The New England Journal of Medicine 1991;325:1551-6.
  29. Sutton PRN. Acute dental caries, mental stress, immunity and the active passage of ions through the teeth. Medical Hypotheses 1990;31:17.
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