I’ll be talking a lot more about immune system health as we move into the colder months.
Today I want to talk to you about how your immune system reacts to STRESS and why it’s so important to self-care now to keep your immune system healthy.
Stress is a broad term used to differentiate a state of calm and relaxation – called the parasympathetic nervous system response – from an active state of response called the sympathetic nervous system response. Also known as Fight and Flight.
The Fight and Flight response is our survival mechanism to help us act fast in the face of alarm or danger. It isn’t designed for continual activation. However, most of us are finding a pit of worry in their gut all the time at the moment – and this is a sign of chronic stress.
>> Here are examples of activities that activate the fight and flight response in the body – some of them are fun and a part of life. Some are more obviously stressful:
- Exercise – running, gym workouts, sport
- Arguments with friends or family
- Watching thrilling movies
- Working on a computer or screen after 8PM
- Build up of circling emotions
- Fear, anger, rage
- Broken sleep and insomnia
All these activities have one thing in common. They activate our nervous system into the stress response known as the sympathetic nervous system response. Also known as Fight/Flight/Freeze.
If constant fatigue is an issue, you may be severely depleted in nutrients – nutrients that your immune system also needs to function.
We can test adrenal gland function with a 3-point saliva test. This test shows us if the glands are producing the right level of cortisol at the right time of the day. High cortisol levels show an overactive adrenal response. Low cortisol shows a longer term fatigue picture. Each have different treatment needs to assist the body back to a better balance, requiring nutrients and adrenal and immune system herbs keeping you relaxed, healthy & strong.
STRESS and Autoimmune Disease
People with pre-existing autoimmune disease are even more susceptible to stress. Stress flares the autoimmune disease very quickly, resulting in an increase in their particular symptom picture and speeds up disease progression if left unchecked.
This is largely due the surge of inflammation in the system.
How’s your SHUT EYE?
Lack of sleep is as stressful to the body as psychological stressors, and predisposes people to susceptibility to colds and flus equally.
Our preferred adrenal hormone test also tests Melatonin levels – which is vital to deep, restful sleep. Melatonin is a neurotransmitter that is dependant on nutrients such as; magnesium, SAMe, 5HTP, zinc, B vitamins and much more.
A sleep disorder usually has more behind it than just feeling over stressed. The nutrient deficiency must also be corrected to get a good therapeutic result.
If you would like to speak one-on-one with a naturopath practitioner, I invite you to click the link and book a time slot – we love to chat with our readers and help you gain better health!
Don’t wait until you are sick to act. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, seek corrective help now, and your body will be much better equipped to deal with all the winter viruses.