Virginia Family Law Attorney Examines Health Effects of Divorce

Divorce leads to “broken hearts,” but does it really lead to medical and cardiac problems?

Scientists now believe that this phrase can be interpreted literally as well as figuratively. A new study found that divorce can have a notable impact on cardiovascular health – an unsurprising conclusion, according to Virginia family law attorneys.

Researchers examined 739 married men and 459 married women in middle age or older. They examined the participants’ heart rates, blood pressure, past cardiac events, and other factors determining cardiovascular risk. The findings suggested that divorce – as well as changes in marital quality — can lead to significant and negative cardiovascular effects, particularly for women. These consequences were also more likely to affect older participants than younger ones. This finding might be unsurprising, given that the general risk of cardiovascular events is lower among younger people.

These findings are consistent with other scientific data on the effects of stress on health, particularly heart health. Divorce is one of the most stressful life events possible. If you’re going through a divorce (or on the cusp of separation), you may be familiar with a rogue’s gallery of symptoms, such as sleeplessness, irritability, nightmares, back pain, nausea, and headaches. These physical stresses and annoyances can make getting through a divorce even more difficult.

Stress elevates your heart rate and your breathing, putting your body into a “fight or flight” response. Few modalities can remedy the short and long term effects of this stress. If your body’s perpetually on high alert, chronic stress can put a strain on your heart and impact your health overall.

Given all that, how can you keep “heart healthy” when going through a divorce?

  • Consult your doctor and develop a battle plan for any health problems as well as for prophylaxis.
  • Talk to a friend when you feel overwhelmed.
  • Remember to take time for yourself.
  • Spend time away from dealing with the divorce.
  • Go for a walk or engage in some other calming, low-impact exercise.
  • If you don’t have time to make healthy meals, eat healthy snacks. Choose “real food” like healthy fats, proteins, veggies and low sugar fruit. Apples, peanut butter and carrot sticks are great. But don’t shy away from heart-healthy and nourishing traditional foods, like bone broth, eggs and free range meats.
  • Consider asking your doctor to get a complete lipid profile, such as an NMR Lipoprofile. In general, high HDL/triglyceride ratios are associated with better heart health.

If you need assistance with your case, contact our experienced Fairfax divorce attorneys today at (703) 370-5555 to schedule a consultation. We can provide compassionate, strategic help throughout the process and give you back peace of mind and the strength to rebound from your crisis.

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