Stressed out? Call your doctor - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Stressed out? Call your doctor

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Are you stressed? Who isn't? One study found 10 percent of adults do nothing to manage the pressure.

But, don't stress about it, now you might have a new tool at your disposal in your struggle against stress – your medical doctor!

For Leah Grossman, living in a new town is stressful.

"I was feeling like I was being strangled and drowning," Grossman said.

To get back above water, she went to see a physician – one who specializes in stress management.

"She did some meditation with me in the office the first visit. She suggested I attend a Tai Chi class," Grossman said.

Like Leah, 41 percent of adults say their stress level has gone up in the past five years, and doctors are taking notice.

"Stress is implicated, and can exacerbate a number of medical conditions all the way from a common cold to a heart attack," Dr. Aditi Nerurkar.

Nerurkar has a stress management practice. Her goal when she sees an ailing patient?

"Take a step back and zoom out and look at the patient as a whole and address their stress as it affects their entire being, rather than a particular body system," Nerurkar said.

Dr. Adam Perlman also works with people to reduce the pressures they feel in everyday life. Necia Gooch came in with headaches and back and stomach pain.

"There was a good focus on the details that fill my life and, and what stresses are there," Gooch said.

Dr. Perlman says the practice of looking at the whole picture is catching on.

"Stress in our current society is really an epidemic if you think about it. So, more doctors do seem to be incorporating stress management into their practices. There is a growing demand also from patients," Perlman said.

Doctors agree there is no one anti-stress solution for all patients and when you see a doctor for stress, of course they treat your body as well as your mind.

"My approach in managing stress is that it's a piece of the larger puzzle of someone's medical condition. So while I teach meditation I do not think that meditation can replace medication," Nerurkar said.

Nerurkar gives each patient she sees a stress score. When Grossman first came in, hers was 22. Now, she's down to 15.

"I feel more grounded, I feel more in charge. I feel like I'm back on the road to being myself," Grossman said.

Nerurkar says the give elements of stress reduction she addresses with patients are: sleep, diet, exercise, social support and meditation.

But, she points out having some stress in your life, at healthy levels, can be a good thing. It can motivate you to be productive and take on challenges.

For more stress tips, visit the American Psychological Association website.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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