Can Stress Bring On a Cold?

Researchers are Carnegie Mellon University have been studying the link between illness and stress and they may have stumbled upon an important discovery. They have found a link between high levels of stress and increased infections, such as colds and the flu.

Stress, Hormones and Inflammation

Major difficult life events are often very stressful. Whether you have lost a job, had a spouse die or moved recently, your body responds to those challenging life events by producing the hormone cortisol. However, during stressful events, cortisol becomes ineffective and actually reduces the effectiveness of the body’s immune system response when exposed to an infection. Instead, the immune system will become inflamed, but the inflammation is not correctly regulated by the immune system. As a result, stressed individuals will experience more severe symptoms of their illness.

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Inflammation is a large component in many illnesses, from auto immune disorders like lupus to asthma. Researchers are now investigating the role chronic stress plays in the symptoms of illnesses that include characteristics of inflammation.

Reducing Stress

If you are experiencing chronic stress there are steps you can take to reduce you stress levels. Try spending some time outside walking or being active. You can also try activities such as yoga or meditation to lower your stress.

Another great and enjoyable for reducing stress is to find things to create laughter. Spend some time talking to your kids or watch your favorite program on Comedy Central. Better yet, treat yourself to an evening out at a comedy club and see the latest stand-up comedian.

By reducing stress in your life, you will find that your enjoyment of life increases and you may not catch as many colds either!

– The Alternative Daily


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