Autoimmune Disease and Stress

by Sam Malone

Autoimmune diseases are baffling when it comes to the causes, but there are certain factors that definitely increase the risk and can act as triggers for such disorders. While heredity is the most obvious risk factor when dealing with autoimmune diseases, the role of stress can not be underplayed. While no definite connection has been found in the context of hard evidence, a closer look still indicates a connection.

At any rate the role of stress as a trigger in those already afflicted with autoimmune disorders is widely recognized.

One reason why stress is believed to play an important role in autoimmune disorders is because of its effects on the immune system. Researchers have found that stress causes hormonal and cellular changes in the body.

When our body or autoimmune system perceives a threat it moves into ‘attack mode’, which could be a life saving response to acute stress. But chronic stress or prolonged stress after a time takes its toll on the immune system, as the body is unable to sustain the fight and this could result in a decrease of these hormones, causing greater vulnerability.

Minimizing your daily stress levels and keeping a check on stress is essential whether you suffer from an autoimmune disorder or not. Eliminating stress will minimize the risk of developing an autoimmune disease and also reduce the risk of outbreaks. Even if the role of stress as a cause is negligible the fact remains that stress is extremely damaging and can contribute to a host of problems.

Stress also adds to and aggravates the symptoms of many autoimmune diseases. Fatigue, exhaustion, sleeplessness, and weight loss or gain are just a few of the symptoms that overlap. Here are some methods that can help you combat stress:

  • A brusque walk or even a slow stroll for at least twenty minutes in a day can work wonders for your mood and for any bodily stiffness and pain too.
  • Take an hour off, to rest and rejuvenate. You can simply read or meditate, but make sure it’s a quiet and undisturbed hour to yourself.
  • Try different stress reduction strategies to reduce the effects of stressful situations on you. Deep breathing and meditation can significantly reduce stress hormones.
  • Try not to be over ambitious and pushy. Instead learn to enjoy what you have and live in the moment.
  • Take up a restorative practice like yoga. It is one of the best methods of coping with and reducing stress.
  • Devote more time to your hobbies and interests, and make time for those who care for you and who you enjoy being with.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
More articles from the Diseases and Ailments Category