Stress : The No 1 Cause of all Health Problems : How Stress affect our Immune System

Stress is a kind of body’s response for any kind of threat which it is expecting to happen any time soon. It is a kind of mechanism to protect you. As soon as the body recognizes any kind of threat it acts quickly by releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. It prepares the body for a fight or flight mode by accelerating heart pumping which leads to increase in blood pressure, tighten muscles, increase blood sugar level, increase focus and stop unrelated functions like digestion, saliva creation, immune system functions etc.

If you are in a life or death situation like in front of a wild animal it is extremely beneficial. It helps you to gain more strength and stamina to either fight or flee from there. But the problem is our body cannot distinguish emotional and physical threats. So body’s reaction will be same even when you are fighting with your family member or boss or when you are terrified about something or when you are depressed about a financial problem etc

A physical threat happens very rarely and exists for a very short period and the body will be back to normal after that. But emotional stress happens very often – in today’s world many times a day. Emotional stress also linger for a long time too. This long term emotional stress creates havoc in the body and this is the main reason for most of our health problems.

When we fall into emotional stress regularly it puts a heavy load on our internal organs. Heart continuously pounds faster and puts heavy strain on the heart and our cardiovascular system. Such prolonged conditions lead to cardiovascular diseases (CVD). CVD is the no.1 cause of death all over the world and around 9 million people die every year due to different types of heart or blood vessel related diseases. 

Stress hormones also increase blood sugar levels to get more glucose to the brain and muscle cells. It is extremely necessary for a physical threat as the brain has to make a quick decision to handle the situation and muscles need extra power to fight or escape from the situation. Since the entire scenario will be over within a few minutes it doesn’t create much harm to the body.

But for emotional stress also the body acts in the same way which is actually not required. Since emotional stress remains for a long time and happens very often this kind of response – like increased blood sugar levels leads to diabetes, pancreatic disorders etc which is again a major illness in today’s world.

Another problem is when we are in a prolonged stressed mode it stops many important functions like digestion, immune system functions etc. So after some it leads to digestive problems, autoimmune diseases etc. When our immune system functions are compromised it can lead to many health issues. In today’s scenario it is very important. Epidemics like coronavirus covid-19 are spreading fast because our immune system is not working properly or not working at optimal level.

Also increased media exposure creates tension, anxiety, fear and uncertainty in our minds. Visual, print and social media mostly project negative things because people are more interested to read or watch such news. So when you are exposed to such negative and exaggerated news your mood will automatically move to negative territory and which will create many negative emotions. When your mind is filled with such negative emotions for a long period of time your mood will become extremely negative and you will become emotionally stressed. 

As mentioned above this again weakens your immune system and chances of an infection become very high in such a situation. Also when immune system functions are not in the optimum level coming out from an infection also takes time as the body cannot fight effectively as it’s healing power deteriorated due to underlying stressed condition.

Senses are our main inputs to the brain. So be careful what you feed to your brain. Mainly careful about what you see and hear. Avoid negative news and stay away from negative people. Read only encouraging and good news, watch relaxing tv shows and programs, listen to music and inspirational speeches, do something creative and enjoy life.

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