Blog Post

How stress increases inflammation in the body

For years we’ve heard about the harmful effects that stress can have on our bodies, and now, as we are living more and more in a state of stress, we are finding out just how much damage is possible. It can mess with our mindset through to our metabolism and as you’ve probably noticed during times of high stress, our immune system. Recent research is bringing to light just how much stress lowers our immune system and increases inflammation.

Stress feeds inflammation in the body. Even if you eat the cleanest diet on the planet, stress, worry and overwork can still be causing you damage. What does inflammation matter you might be asking? Let’s take a look at the effects of inflammation, and why you need to find ways to reduce the stress in your life.

Cortisol, the inflammation regulator

We’ve all heard about Cortisol; it is an essential stress hormone that also happens to be influential in regulating inflammation. The trouble is, when we are under stress for long periods of time, stress triggers more Cortisol, which throws out the regulation of inflammation.

Now we all know how easy it is to get stuck in the hamster wheel of a continuous state of stress. As this happens, the level of cortisol increases in your body creating inflammation. This inflammation can cause symptoms, conditions and diseases that imbalance the body like high blood pressure, acid reflux, arthritis, heart disease and osteoarthritis to name a few. It can also make you more susceptible to bacterial, fungal and viral infections,

Inflammation and disease

Research suggests that many illnesses, including the symptoms of the common cold, aren’t caused by a virus. Instead, it is the inflammatory response that is part of the body’s defence to fight infection. When under a lot of stress, the cells in the immune system can’t respond to the hormonal control and produce inflammation.

If your body’s inflammatory response is high, then so too is the symptoms of a cold. As you can imagine, this can wreak havoc particularly for those with cardiovascular disease and asthma. Anytime the body is off balance inflammation is almost always present.

Did you know that exposure to stress can affect gene activity in the immune system even before it gets in the bloodstream? Studies have shown those under stress had up to four times as many immune cells in their blood as those who weren’t under stress.

Is all inflammation bad?

Now it is important to point out here that not all inflammation is harmful to us. Inflammation is our body’s natural response to stress. We need to prepare to fight infections and promote healing when injured, and inflammation plays a crucial part in that process. It’s when there is chronic stress where the body is inflamed for extended periods of time that isn’t good.

The importance of minimising and managing stress

Stress is inevitable. You will never be able to get rid of it out of your life, but you can minimise it and learn ways to manage it better. Sometimes this can result in significant life changes – a change of career, the end of a relationship, a new group of friends and sometimes it can be as simple as changing some habits.

Get your body moving, eat healthily, spend time in the sunlight, learn breathing techniques, outsource some of the work you don’t need or like doing like the housework, sleep and start saying “no”. A little self-care along with detoxing – can work wonders!

Contact Jen today to book a FREE 30-minute consultation. Just imagine how different you will feel in 30-days after giving your body a reboot!