Chronic stress damages the immune system. If your immune system is weakened to some extent, you are more likely to catch a cold than before. This time, as a topic related to mental health, I will explain in detail the points you should know to prevent such a cold.
mental and cold
Mind and body are two sides of the same coin. In fact, if you’re not feeling well, you probably don’t feel very well. On the other hand, if you are mentally unwell, it may be difficult to prepare a healthy meal. Physical condition tends to be unsatisfactory, and it becomes easier to catch a cold.
This time, as a topic of mental health, I will explain in detail the points of cold prevention from the mental side.
The susceptibility to catching a cold that changes depending on the state of the immune system
It can be said that cold symptoms such as “feeling tired” and “sore throat” are the result of the virus causing damage to our physiological functions in the body. However, the damage itself is usually a problem that can be fixed in a week or two. That’s because your immune system completely clears the virus from your body in that slightly (sometimes quite) painful week or two.
However, when faced with the virus that causes the cold, if the person’s immune system is in a so-called perfect state, after the virus enters the body, that perfect immune system will It may remove the virus from your body. In other words, even if you are infected with a cold virus, you may be cured before any symptoms appear.
In fact, there may be people around you who say, “I haven’t caught a cold in years!” However, some people often catch colds. As a reason for making that difference, for example, if the condition of the immune system is unsatisfactory, if a cold virus enters the body at some point, the symptoms may be more likely to occur.
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Mechanism by which cold symptoms are exacerbated by stress hormones
The negative effects of stress on the immune system have a lot to do with the so-called stress hormones.
Therefore, the term “stress hormone” refers to substances such as adrenaline and cortisol that are secreted in the body as substances that regulate the physiological functions of the mind and body in order to be able to deal with stress situations. generically.
In order to give you a clear image of the role of such “stress hormones,” I will give a slightly extreme example here. It was when someone was walking in the field. Suppose a large snake suddenly appears in front of the person. If you are attacked by the snake, it may end in a sad ending. You must immediately decide whether to turn your back on the snake and run away, or to make up your mind and threaten the snake. with that tension. Your heart may be beating wildly, and your breathing may be shallow, rapid, and urgent. And the fear that surges through your body may be far beyond the level that can be described in words.
At this time, considerable stress hormones are secreted in the body, albeit temporarily. It’s about adjusting our physiology to help us cope with the crisis at hand. Specifically, stress hormones include noradrenaline, adrenaline, and cortisol, but the last one, cortisol, is an important substance that regulates our immune system.
It’s a bit of a technical story, but cortisol is one of the steroid hormones secreted from the adrenal glands in the body. One of its physiological actions, which are several, is suppression of the functioning of the immune system. So if the daily stress is sustained at a significant level, this cortisol will be continuously released from the adrenal glands at a significant level. A slightly more technical term for this is that your immune system is constantly exposed to cortisol stimulation.
As a result, the immune system becomes accustomed to cortisol stimulation, or in other words, responds less to cortisol. What this means is that cortisol naturally stimulates the immune system, making it harder to suppress some functions of the immune system that are undesirable in that situation. Specifically, it is difficult to control the inflammatory response mediated by cytokines.
It is said that symptoms such as “sore throat” or “coughing” among cold symptoms are problems mediated by this cytokine.
The point I want to make is that when stress becomes chronic, the above mechanisms are involved, and cold symptoms may become more pronounced than usual.
Stress measures that are important as measures against colds
Modern society is stressful. The pressure of work may make your stomach ache, or you may get angry at the simple words of those around you. And each time, stress hormones are secreted in the body.
One of the problems that chronic stress creates is the overproduction of the stress hormones we’ve been talking about. As mentioned above, it can also significantly weaken your resistance to the virus that causes the common cold. If you turn this inside out, stress measures will prevent colds. If your chronic stress is already at a significant level, it’s time to think about ways to deal with it. For example, my relationship with my spouse is… Or if you are worried about changing jobs, you need to think about how to deal with the stress situation.
The weakened immune system that can occur in chronic stress situations not only makes you more susceptible to colds, but can also significantly weaken your resistance to the coronavirus during this pandemic. So, the points of stress countermeasures themselves may sound obvious, but the following three points. They are “sufficient sleep”, “nutritionally balanced diet” and “moderate exercise”. In addition, as a countermeasure against colds in the corona wreck, please be more careful than before, such as “Keep your body cool!”