The Effects of Stress on The Immune System
© Nik Shuliahin
Stress is a set of non-specific adaptive (normal) reactions of the body to the impact of various adverse factors or so called stressors (physical or psychological) that violate its homeostasis, as well as the relevant state of the nervous system (or the body as a whole).
Stress can cause of hundreds of different diseases.
When under a lot of stress, the sympathetic part of the nervous system is activated. It regulates the functions of internal organs, has sway with the immune system and the endocrine profile. If you suffer from chronic stress, it is crucial to get out of it as soon as possible.
How does stress affect the body?
Stress activates brain areas responsible for the regulation of internal organ function. The nervous system affects the immune system by sending signals to the lymph nodes, nerve plexuses, the thymus and the spleen. Plus, the endocrine system also produce hormones that affect immune cells. All of this generates an endless circle. Nature did not intend for a person to live in a constant state of stress. As a result, the body gets exhausted and is subjected to various diseases. Because the constant activity of hormones in the adrenal cortex inhibits the activity of immune system cells, the body’s resistance to infectious diseases is weakened.
Causes of chronic stress can be external and internal factors: life problems, lack of sleep, fatigue and an unhealthy lifestyle in general.
Mechanisms of a negative impact on the immune system
The most important effects of stress on the human immune system are the following:
- Lymphocyte activation. Is accompanied by fever. Stress actually strengthens the immune system, not weakens it. The only problem is that nature conceived this effect as short-term. With constant stress exposure, the immune system reserves get depleted, entailing immunodeficiency.
- Increased activity of the adrenal cortex. It releases cortisol, which is also called the stress hormone. This hormone is a glucocorticoid. It inhibits the immune system, and over time its excessively high level entails muscle atrophy and bone demineralization.
- Improper regulation of internal organ functions. They are constantly stimulated, which eventually leads to functional disorders (diarrhea, abdominal pain, heartburn, palpitations, etc.).
What is to be done?
It is important to defeat chronic stress promptly, since it weakens the immune system and makes the human body susceptible to infections. As counterintuitive as it may seem, it is wrong to solely use relaxing techniques and procedures in this situation. In this case, the nervous system’s parasympathetic part is activated and thus may reduce the activity of an already weak immune system.
Here’s what one needs to do instead
- correct nutrition;
- replenish the energy potential;
- restore the deficiency of vitamins and trace elements;
- make the body more resistant to stress factors;
- use natural immune response modifiers and herbal preparations to strengthen the immune system.
The ability to resist infectious diseases is natural for us humans. Unfortunately, in the contemporary context, maintaining immunity requires enormous effort. Improper nutrition, poor ecology, stress and other factors gradually deplete the body defenses. Up to a certain point, the immune system keeps diseases at bay. But if a person ignores the warning signals of the body, does not take care of his or her health, sooner or later the immune system proves no longer able to resist pathogenic factors. To prevent this from happening, health problems should be resolved in a timely manner. In this regard, we offer to undergo a free diagnostic test with the help of our specialists.