THE DANGERS of stress can hijack your bodies, making you sick with worry according to a study earlier this year. US researchers have discovered that s
THE DANGERS of stress can hijack your bodies, making you sick with worry according to a study earlier this year.
US researchers have discovered that stress can increase inflammatory and allergic reactions such as irritable bowel syndrome and asthma.
Getty – Contributor Stress has become an everyday part of life – but it can have real physical manifestations
Why can stress make me sick?
Certain kinds of white blood cells protect the body against diseases, but when you get stressed, these cells inflammatory responses are triggered.
Adam Moeser, an associate professor specialising in stress-induced diseases, said:
“When this happens, CRF1 tells these cells to release chemical substances that can lead to inflammatory and allergic diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, life-threatening food allergies and autoimmune disorders such as lupus.”
The University of Michigan researchers looked at mice to examine how their immune cells responded to psychological stress.
Getty – Contributor Being stressed can contribute to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and asthma
They found that the normal allergic reaction is intensified when we are stressed, and can lead to severe physical manifestations.
Normal chemical reactions which are activated to get rid of invading allergens can instead become life threatening.
The group of mice which had stress receptors on them had high levels of disease, but those the group without were protected against both psychological and allergic stress.
With millions of days lost every year to stress, scientists also found last year that happy people generally have healthier hearts – and shockingly, the risk of heart attacks and strokes soars by over half if you are stressed.