Could stress weaken your immune system?

We all know that our immune systems are very important for our overall daily well-being, but for the most part, people are still relatively unsure of how to increase or boost the strength of the immune system, and what really happens when it is decreased in sensitivity. When you add to this that a lot of people don’t understand the problems that our everyday lives could have on it, there is a recipe for disaster that much be quickly amended.

It is already known that a lack of sleep can cause a reduction in the strength of the immune system, to the point where sleep deprived animals often died as a result of bacterial infections. However, are there other factors that could lead to the decline of our health and daily well being? And can these things be stopped?

Stress is a major factor is every one’s life these days – if we are not currently stressed out, we are thinking about how stressed out we could be, or worse, were! Stress is a term very commonly thrown around, and it would seem as if it were taking over our lives. For the most part, a little bit of stress never really hurt anyone, and in fact, it could even be said that it helps us to cope with certain situations in a new and improved way. However, increased stress over larger periods of time could lead to a massive decline in our well being and health, and recent studies have shown that this could be because of the huge impact it has on our immune systems.

It has been shown that the state of mind that you are in has a massive impact on your state of health and those that regularly suffer with stress also have a tendency to fall prey to many other conditions, such as the common cold, flu, cough’s and more. As we have mentioned, a small amount of stress is actually good for the body. When a person becomes stressed, a hormone is released called cortisol. This hormone has anti-inflammatory properties that also helps to encourage the growth and repair of damaged tissue and cells, and on top of this, actually helps to control a problem where the immune system actually produces excessive white blood cells, which can actually be as bad for your daily wellbeing as not producing enough.

Regular stress or stress that goes on for longer periods of time means that the cortisol hormone is in your body for much longer than it should be and in excessive amounts at the same time. This then slows down the production of a few other compounds that are vital for the body, one of which is prostaglandins. These prostaglandins do many good things around the body, which is why the reduction of production is bad – they helps to strengthen the immune system, promote anti-inflammatory activity, help to dilate blood vessels and more.

Another reason why increased cortisol levels are bad for your immune system and daily wellbeing is that the good cells in your blood that help to fight off diseases and infections are reduced, which is why you become more susceptible to chronic and everyday complaints, and when you add that to the fact that sleep patterns are disturbed with excess stress levels, you are a circle that is impossible to break, and could leave you feeling very ill indeed.