The relationship between stress and illness is complex. The susceptibility to stress varies from person to person. Factors that influence the susceptibility to stress are:
- genetic vulnerability
- familial learned mechanisms
- coping style
- type of personality and
- social support.
Studies have shown that short-term stress boosted the immune system, but chronic stress has a significant detrimental effect on the immune system which ultimately manifests as illness. Chronic or long term stress imbalances the immune system leading to raised risk of viral infection.
Stress also leads to the release of histamine, which can trigger severe broncho-constriction, especially in asthmatics. Stress increases the risk for weight gain and diabetes mellitus, particularly as psychological stress alters insulin needs.
Stress also alters the acid concentration in the stomach often leading to peptic or stress ulcers, Helicobacter pylori infection, ulcerative colitis, IBS and many digestive problems. Chronic stress can also lead to plaque build-up in the arteries. The correlation between stressful life events and psychiatric illness is stronger than the correlation with medical and physical illness. The relationship between stress and mental illness is strongest in neuroses and depression.
Recent studies have found a link between stress and tumour development which may be actively involved in the formation of metastases.
There are many approaches available to help you manage stress and prevent its detrimental health effects. It is always advised that you consult a qualified natural medicine practitioner, in addition to employing the following:
- Get adequate rest / sleep
- Eat a nutritious, whole food diet
- Daily moderate exercise
- Drink enough purified water
- Limit stimulants – caffeine, alcohol
- Avoid processed foods, especially sugar
For a personal assessment call True Medicine on 07 5530 1863