Stress and Our Immune System Are Strongly Connected 

Is there any real connection with stress and our immune system, or is this just another internet myth.

The answer to this question is not only yes; it is a resounding yes for several real and threatening reasons.

This complex system is perhaps the most powerful of all the systems in our bodies, and here is a gruesome, but powerful reason, why it is so powerful.

Stress and Our Immune System

When any living entity dies, including us, this powerful system immediately shuts down.

Once this occurs, within hours, yes hours not days, that once living entity is not only attacked, it is literally invader by anything that is anywhere near it.

That includes any type of toxin, bacterium, viruses, and parasites that will literally destroy it within just a few hours.

However, before death, this powerful system, including ours, is masterfully and tactically fighting each and every one of these invasions with little effort.

However, if it starts to weaken, this is where the connection with stress and our immune system begins to emerge.

Here are the major components of this marvelous system.

  • Our Thymus and Tonsils
  • Our Lymph system
  • Bone marrow and our white blood cells
  • Antibodies
  • Hormones

Now take just a minute and think about all the various ways that any type of invader can enter and try to attack our body.

They can attack and try to penetrate our skin, as well as try to enter though our eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

As we begin to age, we need all help we can get to fight off any type of invasion, and the last thing we can afford, is for the marvelous system to let us down.

Here are some very interesting facts about other parts of body that help with this fight.

  • Our skin is the first line of defense and is technically part of it
  • Our mucus breaks down and destroys bacterium
  • Our saliva is full of anti-bacterial agents

Our skin is the first line of defense with stress and our immune system and it is a very powerful barrier if, and that is the key word, if, it is at full operating strength.

It is extremely tough and in most all cases, bacterium and viruses cannot penetrate it.

It is full of special cells referred to as “Langerhans cells’, and they act as a watch dog for this system.

It is also full of anti-bacterial agents, and when most invaders land and try to attack, it will quickly kill them.

Older Couple At The Beach With Their GrandchildrenOlder Couple At The Beach With Their Grandchildren

The Different Hormones

Our mucus and saliva also have several defensive agents to help us, and the vast majority of attacks are stopped by these critical helpers.

The next connection with stress and our immune system includes the “stress or pressure” hormones and the role that they play, and they include the following.

  • The hormone Adrenaline
  • The hormone Norepinephrine
  • The hormone Cortisol—the real player

Our Adrenaline hormone is best known as the “fight or flight hormone” and it is the agent that sends signals to our brain when we are under any type of pressure.    

We have heard all of our lives the term “adrenaline rush”, and this is the hormone that is the first to react with any type of emergency, pressure, or threat.

Our Norepinephrine hormone is very similar to adrenaline, and it is the reason why we become more alert, as it sends the brain a message to release blood to critical parts of our body.

How It Helps

This includes our skin as it plays a huge role as a backup agent to Adrenaline.

However, the real power player with stress and our immune system is the hormone Cortisol, as it is most commonly known as the “stress or pressure hormone”.

The rush with Cortisol is not nearly as fast as with Adrenaline, but it is not far behind. In a very dangerous situation, it can and does help to save our lives.

It helps to balance the fluids in our body as well as our blood pressure. However, it can also begin to slow down and weaken this amazing system, if the pressure continues.

The effects of stress and our immune system all center on this hormone, because of the dangers of over exposure to it if we do not control pressure.

As we all begin to age, if we do not control unneeded pressure, not only is this amazing system affected, it can also affect our blood pressure, sugar control, and our heart rate.

Here are some more roles of Cortisol to this amazing system.

  • It helps to control our glucose metabolism
  • It regulates and helps control our blood pressure
  • It helps to control our blood sugar
  • It helps control and maintain our inflammatory response

If the releases of this critical hormone are in small and controlled amounts, it is a powerful ally and here are the benefits.

Why It Can and Does Do Damage

  • It provides us with quick energy
  • It helps heighten our brain functions
  • It strengthens our pain threshold
  • It strengthens this powerful system

However, if it is continually released because of pressure that starts to become chronic, at our ages, this is now becoming a threat.

Part of this amazing process is the relaxation process, where once all of these key hormones have been released and the pressure is over, the body returns to normal.

But if the pressure continues, it may not return to normal and that is where stress and our immune system becomes a real issue.

There are several recent studies referenced below, that show the direct impact of chronic pressure on this amazing system.

If not controlled, the following will begin to happen.

  • This system begins to weaken and becomes diminished
  • It can affect our mental functions and mood
  • It will begin to affect our heart rates

If the Cortisol levels continue to increase, several things will happen and most of them are not good, especially as we age.

Not only is this amazing system affected, so are its reactions to hormonal secretions that are critical in fighting inflammation.

If any kind of constant pressure is affecting us, our mind and mood is affected, making stress and our immune system even more dangerous.

However, perhaps the most threatening of the potential conditions is how it can affect our heart rates.

This is the last thing we need to be challenged with at our age.

References

http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/beaton.html

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