Stress & The Immune System

Stress & The Immune System

Having a healthy immune system means the difference between staying well, and being predisposed to picking-up any of the infections and illnesses that are going around at any given time.

That’s what is so amazing about our immune system. When it’s working well, it automatically recognises our body’s cells, and goes about doing the job of keeping us healthy by destroying things like bacteria and viruses that are not innate to our body.

I wrote about stress for the inaugural issue of Holistic Living Magazine, where I made the comment that stress is to the body what global warming is to the planet.

I then went on to say that just as there are people who can find ways to deny that global warming exists, there are also those who are good at denying the damage they’re exposing themselves to when they let stress run amok in their life.

So I’m going to pick up from where I left off by giving you another reason to make controlling the amount of stress you expose your body to on a day-to-day basis a priority.

I plan to do this by teasing out exactly what stress does to our immune system’s ability to keep us well.

Stress & The Immune System How Does It Affect Us?

I’m going to shift gears a bit now and make this personal by talking about my husband’s experience of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CSF) which he’s been struggling with for over 20 years.

I look back in despair at all of the dark alleys he was lead down by way of misdiagnosis resulting in the prescription of medications that, at the end of the day, had no positive effect on his condition whatsoever.

More recently, he has had some relief via fact that: a) there is increasing acceptance that CFS is a real medical condition and not just ‘in the head of the patient’ as was previously believed, and b) that CFS is linked to changes in the immune system.

Recent research by the Infectious Disease Laboratory at Columbia University has added to an increasing pool of evidence that CFS can be diagnosed by increased amounts of chemical messengers called cytokines in the body of sufferers.

Cytokines are important here because they are a key part of the complex system that regulates our body’s immune response. What this means for CFS sufferers is that their immune system does not shut down when an infection has passed in the way that it does in people who do not have CFS.

Thankfully, my husband is now being treated by an expert in the field of CSF who is not only able to work within the conventional medical establishment, but who is also willing and able to step outside of it and look at alternative options for treatment.

This doctor is one of only a few who seem to appreciate that CFS patients are not able to bounce back after an infection in the way other people do because of the large amount of cytokines in their body.

Understanding this connection between CFS and the level of cytokines in the body allows doctors to

You can read the FULL version of this article in our quarterly eZine, ‘Holistic Living Magazine,’ look for Edition 5 on this archive page.  There’s many more articles about the immune system waiting for you too!

jane turner

Jane Turner – Woman’s Health Expert

Stress & The Immune System


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