Is Stress Killing Your Immune System?
Stress: A contributor to low immunity
“Stress-related disease emerges, predominantly, out of the fact that we so often activate a physiological system that has evolved for responding to acute physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and promotions. (p. 7)” (1)
Constant stress and anxiety weaken your immune system (2,3), leaving you more vulnerable to viral, bacterial infections and frequent illnesses. Your immune system is your body’s main defense against all sorts of pathogens.
Every part of your body (i.e. organs, tissues, cells, etc.) works together to fight harmful substances and protect you from getting sick. However, when in stress, the body gets into a “fight or flight” mode and produces cortisol, a hormone that your adrenal glands produce in response to stress.
Cortisol helps prepare your body to run away from an immediate threat. Consequently, it suppresses the immune system by reducing the amount of a protein required for signaling other immune cells. This in turn causes the reduction of lymphocytes (B cells and T cells) which are part of your major defense system.
Under constant stress and anxiety, the body creates chronic inflammation that harms tissues and suppresses immune cells needed to fight infection.
What can you do?
The situation that we are in seems indeed very scary, however, you can try to minimize or stop watching the news for a day or two to calm your stress. You can start walking outdoor as often as possible to get the exercise and plenty of vitamin D, start meditating, or do online yoga practices.
To calm your stress, you can also incorporate into your diet adaptogenic (4) herbs and spices such as ashwagandha (5,6) and Gotu kola (7) both of which are available in Nia Max Power. This new product has important components to alleviate anxiety, mental health, and immune building abilities.
These adaptogens are known to reduce anxiety and improve the quality of sleep in people. They help your body manage stress more effectively by reducing levels of cortisol.
By Amina Badar,
Chemist/Tox, scientific evaluator, author, and founder of Nia Pure Nature inc.