The connection between the immune system and stress | The ENT Institute
immune system and stress

The connection between the immune system and stress

A little anxiety now and then never hurts. Most times, stress and anxiety can be a motivator to push us toward achieving goals, remove harmful things in our lives, and stay aware of what’s going on around us. But once that anxiety turns into a daily, hourly, even moment-by-moment struggle, it causes detrimental effects on our mental and physical state. Believe it or not, there is a deep connection between the immune system and stress. 

Does stress motivate your life? Do you feel it daily? What’s it related to? Many people struggle with stressors related to work, school, home, life, politics, pandemics, celebrity news, fashion news, the Royal Family news, polar bear news, Florida man news, and the list just goes on. 

The problem isn’t that stress and anxiety exist, it’s that it can control our lives. When that happens, we compromise our mental and physical state, including our immune systems. Worrying about flu season or allergy season or sinus infections only makes matters worse, creating an environment allowing for those issues to take place. 

The immune system and stress

According to Psychology Today, “If we’re not able to change our response to stressors, we’ll find ourselves in a constant hormonal battle that will lead to serious health issues like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. The brain and the immune system are in constant communication in this delicate balance that can be disrupted by any kind of physical or emotional stress.”

A large portion of diseases and illnesses relate to stress, then. That means our brains have more effect on our well-being than we realized. The mind can be an ally in many situations, but it can also cause serious issues if not properly leashed. Comparing our brains to an animal that needs leashing sounds rather barbaric, but in a way it’s true. Without our brains, we’re nothing. With our brains, we can be a mess. 

immune system and stress

Not to overwhelm you with information, but Psychology Today continues with, “Ongoing stress makes us susceptible to illness and disease because the brain sends defense signals to the endocrine system, which then releases an array of hormones that not only gets us ready for emergency situations but severely depresses our immunity at the same time. Some experts claim that stress is responsible for as much as 90% of all illnesses and diseases, including cancer and heart disease.” 

Now, this isn’t a blog to stress you out more, but hopefully to bring awareness to the reality of the connection between the immune system and stress. With that awareness, you can find relief from stress through varying means – therapy, hobbies, stress-relieving activities, etc. Make sure you’re treating yourself to some personal time. Carve out time in the day to do what you love doing, whether that’s reading a book, playing video games, watching a movie, going for a run, working out, throwing darts, shooting paintballs, or petting cats. The opportunities are endless. 

What does the immune system and stress have to do with the ENT Institute? 

That’s a great question. The biggest takeaway from this should be that without a strong immune system, our bodies become compromised and vulnerable to many illnesses, including worsened allergies, colds, the flu, and sinus infections

If you catch too many colds or your allergies are unbearable, maybe it’s time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. At the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, we offer same-day appointments for allergy tests, sinus infection diagnosis, and various treatments. 

To schedule an appointment, call 770-740-1860 or fill out the form at the top of the page. Watch the videos below to learn more about allergy testing and immunotherapy. 

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