Chronic Stress and Disease Risk

Can some physiological response to your average, run-of-the-mill mammalian stressor, if too long or too frequent, get you into trouble?


The ability of major stressors to suppress immunity below baseline certainly seems like a candidate for this category.

How damaging is stress-induced immunosuppression when it actually occurs?


As the AIDS virus has taught us, if you suppress the immune system sufficiently, a thirty-year-old will fester with cancers and pneumonias that doctors used to see once in an elderly patient during a fifty-year career.


But can chronic stress suppress the immune system to the point of making you more susceptible to diseases you wouldn’t otherwise get?


Once you have a disease, are you now less capable of fighting it off?


Evidence pouring in from many quarters suggests that stress may indeed impair our immune systems and increase the risk of illness.


The Common Cold


Everybody knows that being stressed increases your chances of getting a cold. Just think back to being run down, frazzled, and sleep-deprived during final exams, and, sure enough, there’s that cough and runny nose.


Examine the records at university health services and you’ll see the same thing, students succumbing to colds left and right around exam period. Many of us continue to see the same pattern decades later, burn the candle at both ends for a few days and, suddenly, there’s that scratchy throat.


This applies to anything, we know stress is stress, work, relationships, training, road rage, eating too little, sleeping too little, obesity.


There is a link to stress and cancer as well but to be honest, not something I am going to talk about as this is a topic way out of my remit.


Managing stress is key for overall health.


Coach HB


#stress


This is information was taken from the book why zebras don't get ulcers

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