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Can stress affect my immune system?

ANSWER

If stress drags on for a long time, it makes you more vulnerable to illness, from colds to serious diseases.

Chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system.

SOURCES:

Bruce Polsky, MD, interim chairman, department of medicine, chief, division of infectious disease, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City.

Stephen Sinatra, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; founder, New England Heart and Longevity Center Medicine, Manchester, Conn.

American Association for Cancer Research: ''How Diet, Obesity and Even Gum Disease May Affect Immune System and Cancer.''

Sanchez, A. November 1973. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

WebMD Medical Reference: ''Use Your Immune System to Prevent Flu.'' ''Exercise When You Have the Flu.'' ''Sleep 101.''

American Psychological Association: ''First-Year College Students Who Feel Lonely Have A Weaker Immune Response To The Flu Shot.''

Cole ,S. , September 2007. Genome Biology

WebMD Medical News: ''Moderate Exercise May Lower Cold Risk.''

Scott Berliner, supervising pharmacist, Life Science Pharmacy, New York.

WebMD Feature: ''How Antioxidants Work.''

Rosner, F. , 1980. Chest

Ann G. Kulze, MD, CEO & founder, Dr. Ann & Just Wellness, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Spiegel, K. Sept. 25, 2002. The Journal of the American Medical Association,

Davidson, R. July-August 2003. Psychosomatic Medicine,

Bennett, M. . March-April 2003. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

University of California: ''Go Ahead, Laugh. It’s Good For You.''

Hughes, D. , March 2000. Nutrition Bulletin

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 7, 2019

SOURCES:

Bruce Polsky, MD, interim chairman, department of medicine, chief, division of infectious disease, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City.

Stephen Sinatra, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; founder, New England Heart and Longevity Center Medicine, Manchester, Conn.

American Association for Cancer Research: ''How Diet, Obesity and Even Gum Disease May Affect Immune System and Cancer.''

Sanchez, A. November 1973. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

WebMD Medical Reference: ''Use Your Immune System to Prevent Flu.'' ''Exercise When You Have the Flu.'' ''Sleep 101.''

American Psychological Association: ''First-Year College Students Who Feel Lonely Have A Weaker Immune Response To The Flu Shot.''

Cole ,S. , September 2007. Genome Biology

WebMD Medical News: ''Moderate Exercise May Lower Cold Risk.''

Scott Berliner, supervising pharmacist, Life Science Pharmacy, New York.

WebMD Feature: ''How Antioxidants Work.''

Rosner, F. , 1980. Chest

Ann G. Kulze, MD, CEO & founder, Dr. Ann & Just Wellness, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Spiegel, K. Sept. 25, 2002. The Journal of the American Medical Association,

Davidson, R. July-August 2003. Psychosomatic Medicine,

Bennett, M. . March-April 2003. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

University of California: ''Go Ahead, Laugh. It’s Good For You.''

Hughes, D. , March 2000. Nutrition Bulletin

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 7, 2019

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What are ways to manage stress?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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