We talk about the three most significant stressors, namely, unwanted aloneness, loss of control, and loss of hope. If you can address those three stressors, you can enhance the power of the immune system, which may have an effect on how it’s able to fight those cancer cells and lessen the effects of cold and flu symptoms. Many studies have shown a link between stress and illness. Stress seems to have become a constant factor in today’s fast-paced society which can weaken the immune system and accelerate the aging process. An increase in heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels, adrenaline, cortisol, free radicals and oxidative damage are also side effects of stress. As much as 80 percent of all major illnesses are attributed to stress. Another upset is the delicate balance of the gut flora, the microorganisms that help break down food.
What we are looking at is if you can enhance the power of the immune system by doing things that make you happy, you will be healthier. Immune cells spend much of their lives circulating in those blood vessels. Immune systems of optimistic people have been found to fare much better under stressful conditions than those with a negative attitude. Your immune cells, your red blood cells, and your clotting cells (called platelets) are all sensitive to chemotherapy.
There is no question that good nutrition is necessary for a healthy immune system and that means a healthy variety of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, vitamins, fluids, etc. Your nutrition choices as well as your emotions can have a big impact on your body’s ability to keep up your energy levels and immune system.
In one small study, researchers found that moderate exercise (three or more times a week) increased the immune cell counts of women undergoing breast cancer treatment back to normal levels, and also improved the women’s mood and ability to handle their feelings comfortably. A healthy immune system regulates our body’s healing process and protects it against infections and diseases. When stress compromises our immune function, it can result in colds, flu, fatigue, cardiovascular disorders and premature aging. Sleep time is when your body and immune system do most of its repairs and rejuvenation. Regularly drinking tea throughout the day can help strengthen your immune system and your body’s ability to fight off germs and infections.
The field of study that examines the link between stress and the immune system is known as psychoneuroimmunology. Several studies in this area indicate that physical and emotional stress can have either good or bad effects on the immune system’s response. The diseases that result from this attack are known as autoimmune diseases; the more commonly occurring examples include systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), Grave’s disease of the thyroid, and rheumatoid arthritis. There is also considerable evidence that, in individuals with autoimmune diseases, symptoms are worse during times of stress. It is also interesting to note that many autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and Grave’s disease, occur more commonly in women than in men. A positive attitude, connecting to other human beings, and minimizing stress all have a lot to do with immune system health, as well.
Protecting your immune system is a vital part of living longer, feeling younger and being healthy. A healthy system regulates our body’s healing process and protects it against infections and diseases. Stress influences our health so profoundly because of the way it affects our nervous and immune systems. Because of the connection between stress and health, stress management should be a cornerstone of your healthy lifestyle. Think about your state of health for a moment. And also the health of those you know. How we learn to deal with stress makes a huge difference in how healthy we are. Research shows that the way you cope with stress can affect your health.
Another fine article by Chuck Arnone, with regards to our day to day health and your immune system.