What Happens When Stress Weakens the Immune System

What Happens When Stress Weakens the Immune System

Stress-Induced Immune Suppression and What You Can Do About It

Are you feeling stressed out? That’s your body responding to the different experiences and situations you go through in life. Stress hormones send signals to your body to keep you alert in case of an emergency. But if these signals launch more frequently than they should, your health might be in trouble. 

In the United Kingdom, the Mental Health Foundation reported in 2018 that 74% of the population have experienced overwhelming stress. This figure is expected to rise with the COVID-19 outbreak ravaging the country. Read on to find out how chronic stress compromises immunity and what you can do to manage it.

Understanding Stress & the Immune System

A stressful lifestyle goes beyond constantly feeling overwhelmed. It also increases your susceptibility to illnesses. (1)

Short-term stress is a part of your body’s natural defense. In immediate situations, it sends a signal to the immune system for a quick boost. And you’ll experience an enhanced immune response as a result. (2) But trouble starts when this response begins to takes over your life. 

Being stressed over long periods of time disrupts the balance of immune cells. Consequently, immune cell production and function are reduced. It also promotes chronic inflammation. (3) All this puts you at a higher risk of contracting viral and bacterial infections. (4)  

stress and diseases

Stress-Related Health Problems to Watch Out For 

A stressful lifestyle to blame for a myriad of health problems. With your immune system compromises, your body is body vulnerable to a host of complications including:


On top of all that, stress-induced genetic damage accelerates aging and shortens the human lifespan. (5)

What You Can Do About It

If you’re struggling to manage your stress levels, don’t fret. You’re not alone. Surveys over the years have revealed that a majority of the population suffers from chronic stress. But it won’t hurt to try making lifestyle changes to find relief from it. These include the following:

  • Getting sound and sufficient sleep
  • Eating a balanced and nutritious diet. 
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking the time to meditate
  • Taking breaks and vacations in between work or school 
  • Decreasing your alcohol and caffeine intake 
  • Doing breathing exercises

Another tip is to try listening to binaural beats for stress relief, anxiety reduction, and better sleep. 

Consuming adaptogens like ginseng and Chaga mushrooms help the body cope with varying degrees of stress. Adaptogens are natural substances that help regulate the body’s stress response. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of a stress disorder, please consult a health professional. 

Important Note: The information above is only for educational purposes. Do not use this content as a replacement for medical advice or diagnosis. Consult a physician before making any significant lifestyle changes for your health.

The Takeaway

Being stressed is only a natural part of our lives. But you have to do everything you can to make sure it’s under control. Making lifestyle changes geared toward healthy living is one way to do so. Otherwise, you’ll end up experiencing stress-related health problems in the long run.

Find out what helps and what harms your immune system!

Stress is only one of the many things that can compromise your immune system. Would you like to know what else can harm or help it? Please visit BoostYourImmuneSystem.org.

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