Posted by Becky Gulden
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's day two of our series 20 days, 20 ways to survive the economy and we've got important information to help you navigate through these tough economic times.
Our resident doctor, Doctor Dave Mendelsohn says stress can have a major impact on your health.
"I'm seeing a lot of patients coming in specifically complaining about medical problems that really are due to increased stress," said Mendelsohn.
Mendelsohn says stress can cause health problems including sleeplessness, headaches, irritability and a lack of focus.
But you can be proactive, and work to control your stress.
On of the easiest ways is to start exercising.
"A lot of people think that means joining an expensive gym and getting expensive clothes... what I want people to know is you don't need any of that. All you need to do is make sure you're getting outside of your house and doing a little bit of walking," said Mendelsohn.
A 20 to 30 minute walk outside, 30 to 4 times a week can do wonders for managing stress.
It can also help you lose weight, control your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, and help you sleep.
That brings us to another biggie, getting enough sleep.
Create a bedtime routine, try to calm down at the end of the day and relax before you go to bed.
"I've also had patients who have come to me because of the economic struggles and it's presented a lot of challenges as far as their medication. A lot of folks are finding that they're having to make some very tough choices between paying their electricity bill, paying their mortgage or paying their medication," said Mendelsohn.
His advice is to switch from brand name to generic prescriptions if you can.
Generics are usually a lot less expensive.
You can also save money by ordering your prescription drugs through a mail order program, rather than refilling at the pharmacy each month.
What you don't want to do is ignore you're health concerns.
"I want to remind people that even the simplest medical problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, if left untreated, can become very dangerous."
If you cant afford to go to your doctor if you get sick, Dr. Dave suggests calling them. They'll usually work out a payment plan if you need it.