Fort Memorial Hospital
611 Sherman Avenue East
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
(920) 568-5000 | La linea de mensajes: (920) 568-5001

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WHAT IMPACT DOES STRESS HAVE ON YOU?

Everyone has stress in their life, but when it becomes too much to handle, your body may be at risk for health ailments and illnesses such as depression and anxiety, cardiovascular health issues, type 2 diabetes and various cancers.

When you are stressed, your body produces the stress hormone “Cortisol”, which over time, causes bodily inflammation. Additionally, stress decreases your body’s “lymphocytes”, which are white blood cells that fight infection. This inflammation and decrease in lymphocytes can put stress on your immune system which doesn’t allow you to be properly protected from bacteria, viruses and illnesses.

FINDING BALANCE & STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress management techniques can not only help you calm your mind, but also give your immune system a break and allow the inflammation to subside while giving your body time to regenerate those valuable lymphocytes.

Stress management is different person-to-person and is most effective when practiced and used.

Ideas for stress management include:

  • BREATHING EXERCISES
  • MEDITATION
  • TAKING A WARM BATH
  • YOGA/STRETCHING
  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
  • TALKING TO A FRIEND
  • PLAYING WITH/PETTING AN ANIMAL
  • LISTENING TO MUSIC
  • READING A BOOK
  • SPEAKING TO YOUR HEALTH PROVIDER OR PSYCHOLOGIST IF STRESS IS OVERWHELMING

HOW STRESS CAN HURT IMMUNITY

Having some stress in your life is normal and can actually be healthful and protective. When stress becomes chronic and takes over our lives, that is when we potentially see negative health consequences and a decrease in our immune function.

As a recap:

  • Having excess/chronic stress in our lives can cause many health conditions and should be addressed with stress management techniques or talking to your provider.
  • Stress produces cortisol, which can cause inflammation throughout the body and a decrease in lymphocytes (infection fighting cells) and cause a negative immune response.

Find what works for YOU with stress and make sure to put it into practice when you feel any negative stress symptoms