How Does Stress Affect Autoimmune Disorders?

How Does Stress Affect Autoimmune Disorders? | HealthSoul

We all know that stress is not healthy for both mental and physical well-being. When we are stressed, we develop specific and unpleasant symptoms, such as sweating, fastened heartbeat or shivering. But in fact, stress has a much more significant influence on our organism than just those reactions that are developed in a difficult situation. It can worsen the signs of many diseases and even be a trigger for them to develop! That’s why it is so important to avoid stress and invest in a healthy, balanced lifestyle. One of these diseases are the so-called autoimmune disorders, which can be dangerous for general health and are enhanced by the stress factor. How does stress affect them, and how can we help it?

What are Autoimmune Disorders?

Autoimmune disorders are a type of illness in which the immune system attacks itself and the body by mistake. It may cover various body parts, organs, and systems. Normally, the role of the immune system is to fight against viruses and bacteria and prevent them from causing any diseases and further symptoms. But sometimes, for no reason, the immune system starts acting like that without a significant ‘reason’ of bacteria or viruses. Actually, this phenomenon has not been explained yet. It’s known, though, that some of the autoimmune diseases are transferred within a family.

What are the examples of Autoimmune Disorders?

Some of the most common autoimmune disorders include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or Hashimoto thyroiditis. In diabetes, the immune system destroys the production of insulin that takes place in the pancreas, causing an increase in blood sugar levels, which is extremely dangerous for the functioning of the whole organism. In rheumatoid arthritis, however, the immune system works against the joints, causing pains, stiffness and redness of them. Hashimoto thyroiditis is concerned with lowering the production of thyroid hormones that can result in tiredness or weight gain. If you experience any of the symptoms above or simply suffer from a disorder, the cause of which is not known, try to contact a reliable health centre, for example, Spero medical clinic.

How does Stress Affect Autoimmune Disorders and What are other Risk Factors?

There are, in fact, a few scientifically proved factors, that are said to enhance the risk of autoimmune disorders. One of them is stress – generally, the more we stress, the more likely we are to have any health problem, but autoimmune disorders are a particular group. Actually, there is even a whole category of the so-called ‘stress-related diseases’. According to scientific studies, people who were earlier diagnosed with stress disorders were more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases. What’s more, in many cases, they also suffered from multiple autoimmune disorders. On the other hand, the autoimmune disorders themselves are connected to a lot of stress and uncertainty, so both conditions are complementary in a way. In fact, psychological stress could be compared to the one that’s involved in medical conditions such as a heart attack. If you wish to have a look at some research results, have a look here.

How to Prevent Stress and Autoimmune Diseases?

As stress is said to one of the factors that contribute to autoimmune diseases and generally influences the health badly, it’s important to minimise its levels in life. It’s impossible to lead a completely stress-free life, but with a little effort, everyone can take care of themselves. Firstly, if you want to avoid stress, you should get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep causes irritation and tiredness, which may cause tension and, in the long run, lead to many mental disorders. It’s also vital to have a healthy diet, full of fruit, vegetables and light foods. You should also drink a lot of water – ideally, two litres a day – and take regular exercises. It’s confirmed that sport helps to reduce the stress levels. All of these practices are both good for preventing stress and autoimmune diseases, so the risk of combining both is relatively small. If there are traumatic, stressful events in your life, don’t be ashamed to ask for specialist’s help and take psychologist’s or psychiatrist’s advice on how to cope with stress  – free advice or guides are available on many websites, for example here.

Stress is a natural part of human life, but it needs to be managed carefully and reasonably. Once your stress is under control, you can minimise its levels in difficult situations and not let it ruin your health. Also, if you suspect you may suffer from any disease, check if it’s not because of stress, first. There are lots of dangerous health disorders that are based on stress and unhealthy lifestyle.