Stress and Your Immune System

We all know the dangers of too much stress. Stress can cause high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, depression, and that’s just to start.

Physical symptoms of stress can include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low energy
  • Stomach problems including constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach and nausea
  • Body aches
  • Muscle pains
  • Frequent colds and infections

Emotional Symptoms can include the following:

  • Moodiness
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Loneliness
  • Isolation
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Mental and emotional problems
  • Weight gain

When we are under stress, our body’s ability to fight disease and protect us from bacteria and viruses is greatly reduced. This is why we are more susceptible to infections. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can inhibit the effectiveness of the immune system.

Simple ways to reduce stress can include:

  • Exercise
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • Try essential oils like lavender or bergamot
  • Start a journal
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga
  • Go for a walk on the beach
  • Get outside
  • Adopt a pet
  • Laugh
  • Be mindful
  • Hug someone for 20 seconds or more

We all have periods in our life when stress seems to overtake us. By being conscious of your stress levels, you can help reduce them. I & O Medical Centers have got your back. Come in to one of our four convenient locations when you need to feel better fast!