A Moment of Science

Stress and Immunity

Have you heard that stress can reduce your immune defenses and make you sick?

The link between chronic stress and immune function is now well established in the scientific community.

If it is a quick stressor, like a big dog barking at you from a dark alley, your body will react by reducing pain sensitivity, increasing your available energy, and activating your fight or flight response. Hormones like cortisol are released. When you are stressed every day, your body will react in the same way, but your body can’t handle constant stressors. When cortisol is chronically elevated it can actually weaken your immune system by interfering with regular immune functioning. This interference could leave you susceptible to all kinds of health problems.

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