Stress and the Immune System
Release Date: 09/13/2022
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This week we have a brief insight to the fact that stress can play havoc on the immune system and we hope to have a new guest soon to discuss this weighty problem. If you are a member of the health care community and would like to be a guest on our show to discuss how stress affects the immune system, please drop us a line at [email protected]. Remember chronic stress = excessive cortisol and too much cortisol = a host of medical ailments.
1. Poor sleep
Cortisol levels are supposed to drop at nighttime, allowing your body to relax and recharge. But if your cortisol levels are too high, you might notice that, even if you’ve been tired all day, you get a second wind right around bedtime. Then you toss and turn all night – and feel tired again the next day.
Over time, high levels of cortisol deplete the adrenal glands and predispose you to chronic fatigue. So if you feel like your get up and go got up and went, you’re probably stressed.
3. You’re gaining weight, especially around your abdomen, even when you eat well and exercise.
Cortisol tends to make you thick around the middle, even when you’re doing everything “right.”
4. You catch colds and other infections easily.
Cortisol deactivates your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms, which means that your immune system which is perfectly designed by nature to keep you healthy goes caput, leaving you vulnerable to every cootie you encounter.
5. You crave unhealthy foods.
Cortisol raises your blood sugar, putting you at risk of diabetes. High glucose levels then bump up your insulin levels, which then drop your blood sugar it's a vicious cycle!
6. You experience backaches and headaches.
When your cortisol levels are high over a long period of time, your adrenal glands start to get depleted. This raises prolactin levels, increasing the body’s sensitivity to pain, such as backaches and muscle aches. Excessive cortisol also hypersensitizes the brain to pain, such that even the slightest twinge can excite the nerves of the brain, causing headaches.
Consider cortisol the anti-Viagra. When stress hormones are high, libido-inducing hormones like testosterone drop.
8. GI Issues.
Your gastrointestinal system is very sensitive to stress hormones like cortisol. You might experience nausea, heartburn, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or constipation as a result of too many stress hormones.
9. Emotional Problems.
Cortisol and epinephrine can lead to jitters, nervous stomach, feelings of panic, even paranoia.
High levels of cortisol suppress production of serotonin, and next thing you know, you’re awash in doom and gloom.
Chronic High Cortisol=Adrenal Fatigue
When your cortisol levels are bumped up, day after day, your adrenal glands, responsible for the production of cortisol, get worn out. Precursor hormones required for cortisol production get depleted. This could result in full blown adrenal collapse.
(Credits: Dr Lissa Rankin M.D. https://binged.it/3xgOpDc )