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Why is anxiety giving men cancer?

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Chronic anxiety is paralyzing. The non-stop worry and fear prevent you from living your life and can take a toll on you emotionally, professionally and socially.

But your physical health doesn’t come out unscathed either…

Anxiety increases your risk of gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders and heart disease. And, according to the latest research, it could more than double you risk of cancer—but only if you’re a man.

Researchers from Imperial College and Cambridge University in England found that men with generalized anxiety disorder (long-term chronic anxiety that isn’t associated with a particular object or situation) are 2.15 times more likely to die from cancer than men without the disorder. But, oddly enough, women with the disorder don’t have an increased cancer risk.

Why don’t anxious women suffer the same fate as anxious men? That’s a complete mystery to researchers. But the question they really want to answer is why cancer rates are so dang high among men with anxiety…

Their best guess is that men with anxiety are more likely to engage in behaviors that increase cancer risk. Or that both anxiety and cancer spring from the same cause: system-wide inflammation.

But, of course, the most obvious answer is that intense anxiety comes with insomnia and widespread physical stress that sets the body up for disease. Which means a mental disorder that’s generally considered harmless is actually anything but…

“Society may need to consider anxiety as a warning signal for poor health,” said study lead author Olivia Remes of Cambridge University’s Institute of Public Health. “With this study, we show that anxiety is more than just a personality trait, but rather, a disorder linked to real and serious health risks.”

So it’s time to get serious about easing your chronic anxiety… especially if you’re a man. Of course, women with anxiety are at a greater risk for respiratory and heart disease, and those aren’t health conditions to trifle with either.

Luckily for anxious men and women everywhere, there are a lot of effective ways to treat generalized anxiety disorder naturally. But the best place to start is with your lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your anxiety levels. In fact, you can start easing your anxiety right now by:

  • Exercising daily—even if it’s just walking
  • Avoiding alcohol, sugar and processed foods
  • Giving up smoking and caffeine
  • Practicing guided visualization, meditation, yoga and using the power of positive sounds and words.
  • Getting enough sleep
    • Eating anti-anxiety foods, especially those rich in B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and protein. Fill your plate with grass-fed beef, chicken, turkey, leafy greens, legumes, citrus fruits, rice, nuts, eggs, salmon, whole grains and yogurt.

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