Stress may alter body’s immune response
In this study at Carnegie Mellon University, they discuss how stress has negative consequences on your immune system and this article explains the scientific reasoning behind this.
Cortisol helps reduce inflammatory response by binding to the white blood cells. In the people who have undergone longterm stress,they found that there is receptor resistance which leads to unresponsiveness to cortisol-there is enough cortisol, but it won’t bind to receptors of the white blood cells. As a result, not only is the duration for the sickness longer but it seems to be more intense in its symptoms than it would be otherwise. The cytokines are the chemical messengers responsible for producing a response to the inflammation. The people who are stressed and have a lower ablitity of modulating their immune system produce more cytokines, and as a result, they experience greater inflammatory symptoms. The inflammatory response is not limited to just the flu but it also plays a role in other infections. However Professor Andrew Lloyd does not want us to draw definitive conclusions from this and says that more studies are necessary in real life situations.
As students, we are almost always undergoing some stress, and I always get some sort of sickness when exams start to approach, so I thought I would share the explanation behind it. Do you guys notice your body becoming extra sensitive to infections when you are the most stressed?