Stress Can Make Us Sick

A critical shift in medicine has been the recognition that many of the damaging diseases of slow accumulation can be either caused or made far worse by stress.


Since the twentieth century, and the addition of rigorous science we now have extraordinary amount of physiological, biochemical, and molecular information available as to how all sorts of intangibles in our lives can affect very real bodily events.


This can include emotional turmoil, psychological characteristics, position in society and how society treats people in that position.


Why is it that our body can adapt to some stressful emergencies, while others make us sick?


Why are some of us especially vulnerable to stress related diseases, and what does that have to do with our personalities? How can purely psychological turmoil make us sick? What might stress have to do with our vulnerability to depression?




Let's take a deeper look


If you are a Zebra running for your life or a lion sprinting for your meal, the body's physiological response mechanisms are superbly adapted for dealing with such short-term physical emergencies. For the majority of wild animals on this planet, stress is about short term crisis, after which it's over one way or another!


When we humans, seat around and worry about stressful things, we turn on the same physiological responses, this can be potentially a disaster when provoked chronically. A large body of evidence suggests that 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 paying bills, relationships, work, etc...


Homeostasis - What is it?


The body has an ideal level of oxygen that it needs, an ideal degree of acidity, an ideal temperature, and so on. All these different variables are maintained in homeostatic balance, the state in which all sorts of physiological measures are being kept at the optimal level. The brain, it has been noted, has evolved to seek homeostasis.