Just like everyone on campus right now, not only am I stressed out, but also I am sick. I noticed that within the past week I have been more stressed out due to exams or quizzes and that my cold has been getting worse and worse as well. From this, I began to wonder if stress can cause you to get sick.
Stress can have many effects on the body, emotionally and physically. Emotionally stress can cause you to avoid others, have low self esteem and have difficulty relaxing. Physically stress can cause you to have headaches, upset stomach and experience colds or infections. From this article, it is easy to see that stress can cause you to get sick. When we are sick we go through most of these symptoms and we never seem to connect the two together because we blame it on everyone else by saying “my roommate is sick” or “everyone on campus is sick.” It is hard to deny it because everyone on campus has some type of illness right now.
According to Dr. Mercola, stress can deteriorate your immune system, thus making it easier for you to get sick. From a study at Carnegie Mellon University, researchers were able to determine that chronic stress makes your immune system less sensitive to a hormone called cortisol, making your body more susceptible to cold and flu viruses. Cortisol is a stress releasing hormone in your body that allows your body to fight or flee the stress you are feeling. Emotional stressors can lead to coughing, sneezing, and other cold like symptoms.
However that is not the only thing that can lead you to get sick. A deficiency in Vitamin D, can make you get sick as well. You can catch colds from another person and by touching infected objects, such as towels, doorknobs and phones. These things explain why we get colds at points in life when we are not stressed out. Sometimes it could just be our allergies that are making us sick.
From this video we can see how stress can affect our bodies. We can go into psychogenic fever. This is when your body temperature heats up your muscles in case you need to flee in a stressful situation. The video also talks about cortisol and what happens if it stops working. When cortisol tops working, inflammation begins making us susceptible to heart disease, obesity, and it makes us experience things like anxiety or depression. Too much stress can also lead to the destruction of your DNA. Telomeres are on the tips of your DNA making your DNA stay together so when they replicate they get smaller and smaller until the point where they are no longer there. As the video continues it tell you how to combat stress effectively and the best way is to be socially connected. I agree with this video because I notice that if I express my stress with my family or friends they can help get through whatever I need help going through. In the long run, if you get stressed out talk to someone to make things a little better, you never know that could save you from getting a cold.
Home Alone Picture is from here.
The sick puppy picture I got from here.
The healthy life picture is from here.
I got the video from here.