01 February 2022

Stress and Immunity

One of the best things you can do for your immune health is taking steps to manage your stress levels


You have probably noticed that you get sick regularly if you’re under a lot of long-term stress. I don;t know about you, but I can clearly remember getting ill during a holiday. It was as if my body was waiting to relax to get ill! As a result of our over-busy, stress-filled lives, we understand now more than ever today that stress has a negative effect on the immune system.


Bacteria, germs, and viruses can have a much bigger impact on your immunity when over-stressed, and here’s why.


When we are under stress, or faced with a threat, hormones like adrenalin and cortisol are released into the bloodstream. Normally, they will return to lower levels once this threat has passed BUT when you’re chronically stressed, the body’s “fight-or-flight” response (as this reaction is better known) is remains switched on and the drop doesn’t happen.


So, the continued production of these stress hormones increase inflammation in the body and the result is a reduced functioning of our immune system. The usual healthy activity of immune cells, like T-cells also declines. These are the cells that usually fight against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. so now you can see just how easily stress lowers your immunity.


Chronic stress can also make it harder and slower for your body to recover from illness compared to someone whose immune system isn’t being compromised by their stress levels.


If you are experiencing a lot of stress in your life, it’s going to be important to find ways to manage it.