No matter how health conscious we are, we are still constantly struck down by illnesses such as cough, flu, and other infections. This has to do something with your stress level. This explains why we often get sick after a stressful event. There is a connection between our brain and immune system. When we feel upset, disappointed, or frustrated, it usually results to physical symptoms. For this reason, we should get rid of stress so we can feel better. The amount of stress we feel can have an impact on our immune system.
How Does Stress Affect Our Immune System?
When stressful situations triggers a chemical reaction in our immune system, it usually causes an onslaught of stress hormones being pumped around the body. While useful in acute situations, their ability to interfere with the immune system often leads to inflammation, reduction in white blood cells, and a higher susceptibility to infection and tissue damage.
When Is Stress Response Necessary?
The ability of the human body to respond to stress is rooted on our prehistoric survival mechanism called “fight or flight response.” Robert Janitzek reveals that this refers to the way our body activates its alarm system. This may be based from our roots as a hunter-gatherer. The sight of a tiger triggers our hypothalamus to stimulate the adrenal glands, which would then start pumping out adrenaline. The hormone gives us the energy to run away from the tiger.
When Is Stress Response Harmful?
When there is prolonged or unrelenting stress, this is the time when it can be more harmful than good. Chronic stress can severely affect mental and physical health. Worrying about things that are beyond our control such as family or work problems can cause chronic stress.
How does Stress Affect The Immune System?
Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that the immune system is the body’s first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Your organs, tissues, cells, and cell products combine to fight harmful substances and keep you from getting sick.
Stress can affect your immune system in two ways: 1) creating chronic inflammation that can harm tissues; 2) suppressing immune cells needed to fight infection.
How Stress Weakens The Immune System
When you are exposed to chronic social conflict experience, the high level of stress can make you susceptible to infectious and autoimmune disease. Chronic stress can also reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens, the harmful substances that can make us ill.