Stress is known as the “Silent Killer” for good reasons.
Recent evidence generally suggests psychosocial factors may be considered risk factors for specific types of cancer and play a key role in the aging process (1). Psychosocial factors relate to the interrelation of social factors and individual thought and behaviour. In simple terms it is the influence that psychological factors and the surrounding social environment have on a person’s physical and mental wellness and their ability to function.
Studies have shown that short-term stress boosted the immune system, but chronic stress has a significant effect on the immune system that ultimately manifest an illness. It suppresses parts of the the immune system. This suppression, in turn raises the risk of illness (2).
Stress also leads to the release of histamine, which can trigger severe broncho-constriction in asthmatics. Stress increases the risk for diabetes, especially in overweight individuals, since psychological stress alters insulin needs (2).
Stress also alters the acid concentration in the stomach, which can lead to peptic ulcers, stress ulcers or ulcerative colitis. Chronic stress can also lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis), especially if combined with a high-fat diet and sedentary living (2).
The relationship of stress with psychiatric illness is strongest in neuroses, which is followed by depression and schizophrenia (2).
Recent studies found a link between stress, tumour development and suppression of natural killer (NK) cells, which is actively involved in preventing metastasis and destroying small metastases (2).
Current lifestyle, improper sleeping habits, and unhealthy diet lead to psychological or social stress, which in turn is also known to influence the development of chronic lower back pain (CLBP) (3).
If you feel you are suffering from stress we recommend that you seek advice. We can help by providing you with exercise and lifestyle advice and point you in the right direction to help manage your condition.
Blogs by the team at Sprouting Health