PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

Can stress make you sick?

ANSWER

Stress takes a toll on your immune system. You can't fight off viruses as well as you should. That makes you more likely to get a cold, and once that happens, your symptoms are going to be worse.

Ongoing stress makes your body less able to respond to cortisol, a hormone that controls your body's response to threats like the virus that causes the common cold.

SOURCES:

UpToDate: “Patient information: The common cold in adults (Beyond the Basics).”

Cohen, S. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: “Cold Facts.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dehydration: Risk Factors.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Colds and the Flu/Treatment.”

University of Rochester: “Common Cold -- Self Care.”

Mayo Clinic: “Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt.

American Psychological Association: “Stress Weakens the Immune System.”

Carnegie Mellon University: “Stress on Disease.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?”

Brown University: “Health Promotion: Colds.”

NIH: “Three Studies Find Echinacea Ineffective Against the Common Cold.”

UpToDate: “The Common Cold in Adults: Treatment and Prevention.”

UpToDate: “Clinical Use of Echinacea.”

American College of Sports Medicine: “Exercise and the Common Cold.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 16, 2017

SOURCES:

UpToDate: “Patient information: The common cold in adults (Beyond the Basics).”

Cohen, S. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: “Cold Facts.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dehydration: Risk Factors.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Colds and the Flu/Treatment.”

University of Rochester: “Common Cold -- Self Care.”

Mayo Clinic: “Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt.

American Psychological Association: “Stress Weakens the Immune System.”

Carnegie Mellon University: “Stress on Disease.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?”

Brown University: “Health Promotion: Colds.”

NIH: “Three Studies Find Echinacea Ineffective Against the Common Cold.”

UpToDate: “The Common Cold in Adults: Treatment and Prevention.”

UpToDate: “Clinical Use of Echinacea.”

American College of Sports Medicine: “Exercise and the Common Cold.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 16, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Why isn't my cold going away with treatment?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

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.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: