Being stressed can weaken your immune system, making you more prone to illness and infection
We know stress makes us feel run down but now scientists have discovered the reason why.
Long-term stress weakens the immune system making us more likely to catch a cold or become sick. The same link could also explain the impact traumatic events have on our health.
‘The immune system’s ability to regulate inflammation predicts who will develop a cold, but more importantly it provides an explanation of how stress can promote disease,’ says Professor Sheldon Cohen from Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.
‘When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control and consequently produce levels of inflammation that promote disease.’
Researchers from the London School of Economics have also warned that a growing resilience on fatty and salty fast food coupled with long working hours is causing blood pressure to soar.
One third of British adults suffer with high blood pressure which doubles the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
‘Knowing this is important for identifying which diseases may be influenced by stress and for preventing disease in chronically stressed people,’ says Professor Cohen.